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•Ifc'* 



ANCIENT IDEALS 

A STUDY OF INTELLECTUAL AND SPIRITUAL 

GROWTH FROM EARLY TIMES TO THE 

ESTABLISHMENT OF CHRISTIANITY 



BY 
HENRY OSBORN TAYLOR 



VOLUME I 



G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS 

NEW YORK LONDON 

37 WBST TWKNTV-THIRD STXBBT 34 BEDFORD STRBBT, STRAND 

S^i Jlmchnbocktr ^tni 
1896 



CorVKIGHT, 1B96 
BY 

G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS 
Eoteied U SudoDsn' Hall, London 






O 



'I\ 



r^ 



\r 



PREFACE. 

IN view of the progress of historical research, causing 
some modification of opinion, — and our judgment of 
the past alters not merely through the increase of our 
knowledge, but likewise because of changes in ourselves 
in these progressive decades, — I have ventured to hope 
that a new historical survey of the mental and spiritual 
growth of mankind may be of interest to the scholar a& 
well as to the thoughtful general reader. 

The present work is an attempt to treat human develop- 
ment from the standpoint of the ideals of the different 
races, as these ideals disclose themselves in the art and 
literature, in the philosophy and religion, and in the 
conduct and political fortunes of each race. It has been 
my endeavor to preserve a unity of plan in setting forth 
the part taken by each race in the human drama. I 
have sought to make clear the nature of the contribution 
made by each to the stages of human growth reached 
before the Christian era; and to indicate in what respects 
these contributions became permanent elements of hu- 
manity and thus elements of its further possibilities, — 
possibilities that find in Christianity perfect conditions for 
their final realization. 

The work is based, as far as possible, upon the ancient 
sources, which arc fully cited in the notes. To have made 
a similar citation of the modern writers on the various 
topics would have made the notes more extensive than 
the text ; references are, therefore, usually limited to the 
latest books, in which may be found bibliographies of 
their respective subjects. 



278316 



v) 



PREFACE, 



Cordial thanks are due from me to friends for aid. 
First, I would thank my mother for large amounts of tran- 
scribing kindly done by her; then the Rev. John Binney. 
D.D., professor of Hebrew in the Berkeley Divinity 
School ; Edward Washburn Hopkins, professor of San- 
scrit in Yale College, and A. V. Williams Jackson, pro- 
fessor of Indo-Iranian in Columbia University, each for 
assistance in certain portions of my work ; also my friends, 
Mr, William M. Spackman, and Mr. F. Norton Goddard, 
for more general suggestive criticism. And, lastly, I 
would express my gratitude for the invaluable counsel 
which, through a period of many years, I have received 
from my friend, Professor George E. Wcodbcrry. 



H. O. Tavlor. 



New Vokx, October, 1896. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER 1. 

MOB 

XNTBODUCTOItT. 

Life ; Parallelisms of Development ...... i 

The Primitive Di&quietude 3 

Desire and Endeavor ; Individuality 5 

Perwinality; Modes of Homan Growth 7 

Topics of Inquiry ; ArrangemeQi 10 

CHAPTER II. 

EOYFT, CHALDiCA. AKD CHIHA. 

Eleinenury Humanity of Early Races 15 

Egyptian Mental Crudities and Unprogrcssiveness ... 16 
Conceptions of Life after Death : The Elaborate Egyptian 

Scheme ; The Savage Babylonian Thought .... 16 

Egyptian Gods : Bcne5cent Givers of Life ..... so 

Egyptian Ethics 33 

Puerility of Egyptian Literature ....... s6 

Qualities of Egyptian Architecture. Drawing, and Sculpture . aS 

Mcsopotamian Culture : Somlircnesii of Babylonian Thought , 32 

The Incantation and the Sense of Sin ...... 35 

"Magic Text," "Hymn," and " Penitenti.-il Psalm" . . 37 

Assurbaoipal's Prayer and NcbuchadneEiar's Inscription . . 39 

Egyptians and Chaldseans Intellectually Undeveloped . . 4a 

Assyrian Rudimentary Humanity shown in Assyrian Art . . 4a 

Chinese Cbaracterittics and the Early History ; Its Moral . . 45 
Confucianism : ^Vhat Heaven has Conferred ; State of Equilibrium 

and Harmony 48 

The IdeJ of Propriety of Character ; Filial Piety ... 49 
Confucian Conception of Poetry and Music .*..$' 

** Heaven" and Human Ethical Endeavor 53 

Quietistic Tendencies ; Taoism and Chinese Buddhism . , 54 

Spiritual Limitatiotis of These Primitive Races .... 56 
♦oi. I vii 



vlii 



CONTENTS, 



CHAPTER I IT. 

Jmdia. 

The Vedic Aryans ; The Gods .... 
Semite and Aryan ; RiU and Sin 
Immortality ; Vedic Questionings 
Soma and Agni ; Sacrifice and SnbjcctiTity , 
Post- Vedic Thought : Prayer Becomes Very God 
Death and Impermanence : Re-Death ; Yearnings 
Brahma, the Ahwlule ; The Self is It 
Chandogya-Upaai&had ; Symbolism and Subjectivity 
Abaadormieot ol Individuality .... 
Popular Religion ; The Epia .... 
Brahman Ethia : Kuma 

CHAPTER IV. 
The Buudiu. 

Buddhism a ReraUant Revolution : GoUma .... 

Chftin of Ca,U5ation : Karma and Selfhood 

Preaching of the Doctrine ........ 

The Eight-fold Path and the Foot Noble Troths : Buddhi&t 

Ethics 

Universal Elements in Buddhism ...... 

Denlh of Buddha : Nirvana 

The Result 

CHAPTER V. 

lUN. 

The Home ; The Avcste Peoj^e 

Zarathushtra ; The Announcement 

The Battle of the Faith 

Religious Dualism ; The Two Spiriu 

Righteousness of Mazdaism ; Ahura ; The Anuhaqjands 

The Gathic Ideal 

The Prophet and the Later Time 

Parity ; Legal Formulation ; The Resoirection .... 
Zarathufthtrianism and the Medes and Persians .... 

Tfane of the Reform 

The Penaans and Their Limitationi 

CHAPTER VL 

GtKEX DECIKHINGS. 

Hellenic Racehood 

Sources of Ctviltxation : Egypt and Babylonia; Hittiles; 
PhicniciaDs ......,.,. 

The Alphabet 

Mycensan Civilization » 

Atucks on Egypt and on Troy : The Acharam .... 



70 
73! 



«J9 



CONTENTS. 



IX 



CHAPTER VII. 

thtm 

HOHRR. 

The Greek Genius 150 

Gre«k Intellect and trntginftttoa ; ExeoipUfied in the Homeric 

Pantheon i^ 

ZeiK And the Other Gods 157 

Existence after Death : Thoughts oti Life t6i 

Homeric Idea of Fate 165 

The Gods and Fale 171 

Homeric Ethics (76 

The Epic Round of HuoiaD Tioit 174 

The Thought of Beauty ; The Greatness of Man 164 

Achilles tft9 

Odjrsseus ........... i^ 

CHAPTER VIII. 

GiUEX Principles op Lire. 

Unfolding of the Greek Spirit : M.Tf6ir ayar .... aot 

The DccJ of Fame ......... 203 

Fate and Zeus : Fthical Development of the Thought of Fate 304 

The Accursed Act : Houses of I^ius and of Atreua 206 

Retributive Nature of Kate aiS 

The Erinyes ; Expiation ; Punishment ; Intent . * . . ai4 

Phases of Greek Ethical Development 417 

Ayay>{T} and the Gods at8 

Thoughts of the Gods and Thoughts of Life . . . .319 

Pindar ; vEschylus ; Sophocles ; Euripides 92a 

Conduct ; Public Men ; Greek Freedom 131 

The Greek State ; Aristotle's Views 434 

Civic Liberty 440 

Honor, Temperance. Beauty 341 



CHAPTER TX. 

'Gkuk Ait and Poetry. 

Exemplification of Greek Ideals in Poetry and Art . . 949 

The Greatness of Man ; Pindar, the Draroatistx, and Phidias 251 

The Love of Beauty 351 

Plato's Eros ; The Symposiam 354 

Elements of the Greek Conception of Beauty .... 960 

The Universal in the Concrete 365 

Definition of Art from Greek Standpoints 366 

Traits of Greek Architecture 268 

The Record of Progress in Greek 5tculpture .... ayi 

The Beauty Sought : Phidian Qualities 373 



X CONTENTS, 

FAGS 

The Athlete and the God »77 

Unity And Symmetry Z7S 

The Parthenon sSi 

Greek Tragedy ; Aristotle's Poetics ...... 386 ' 

The Plot a88 

Ethoft ; Hamao Freedom and Love's Bondage , . , . 39I 

Masic and Diciion 997 

Effect of Tragedy ; The Tngic Character S98 

CHAPTER X. 

GEEEK PHnX)SOPHY. 

The Greek Desire for Knowledge JOC 

— =^ Greek Philosophy sprang from the Greek Spirit : Its Nature . 303 

Ionian School : Pythagoras and the Eleatics .... 306 

IleraclituB ; Empedocles ; Anaxagoras ; Democritas . . . 310 

The Old and the New ; SophisU 31$ 

""^•^ Socrates begins a Philosophy of Concepts 317 

The Platonic Parable 331 

Platouism Conviction : PLatonism Dedre ; Platonism Trust 339 

The Metaphysics of Definition 336 

Modes of Plato's Teachings ; The Ideas 338 

Platonic Physics uid Ethics 330 

Virtue ; Ita Identity with Knowledge ; Pleasure .... 333 

Aristotle's Ethical Distinctions 336 

Virtue a Habit in the Mean : Wisdom a Knowledge of Final 

Causes 337 

Aristotle's View of Pleasure : Tlte Summum Bonum . . . 340 

* The Coming Severance of Ijfe 343 



CHAPTER XI. 

Latxk Hklleuism. 

Athens and Demosthenes : The Rest of Greece .... 344 

HelleDtsm and the East 347 

Specialization of Occupations : Individualism .... 349 

The Literature of Love ; The Alexandrians ■ 3St 

Theocritus 357 

The Anthology 361 

Art : Scopas and Praxiteks : Lyiippas 361 

Pathoc in G»ek Sculpture : The I aler Realism .... 366 

— *■ The Drift to PhOosophy 370 

Cynics aod Cyrenaics 371 

Stoicism 374 

Epicaxiii> : Sceptics and Eclectics 3B1 



CONTENTS. XI 
CHAPTER XII. 

PACK 

Ths Gihids of Rome. 

Roman Characteristics 386 

The Family 389 

The State 392 

The Threefold RevolntioQ 394 

The Final Political Development ; Senatwlal Government . . 397 

Military Organisation 400 

International Ethics ; Rel^on ; Law 403 

CHAPTER Xin. 

Tbk Republic as Influenced by Greece. 

Early Currents : Comprehensiveness of Greek Influence . 416 

First Literary Qoickenings ; Theatre of Plantns .... 4x9 

The More Serious Trend ; Naerius ; Ennins .... 431 
The Two Ideals : Fortius Cato ; The Sdpio Circle . . .423 

Locretios as Poet ; Catullus 435 

Roman Art 429 

Greek Influence on Religion ; Moods and Opinitms of Lucretius 431 

Philosophy at Rome : Stoicism ; the Younger Cato . . . 439 

Cicero 444 

Tendencies of the Popular Party 450 

Facton of Cesar's Sutesmanship ; Cesar's Career , . .451 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



CHAPTER I. 



INTRODUCTORY. 



Life. 



IT is the instinct of every living organism to maintain 
its existence, live its own life, fulfil itself. Essen- 
tially and simply, this is to live. Life consists in the 
lives of individuals: species, racehood, is the means of 
their propagation. This instinct, many-phased, on which 
hangs all organic life, exists in man not as with 
beasts and plants, but more clearly, in accord- 
ance with the larger measure and lucidity of human con- 
sciousness; and in him this fundamental energy of life is 
made anew by qualities which vindicate the truth that he, 
and he alone, uses rational discrimination in living, he 
alone thinks, — this is well, that is not well, he alone may 
be thought capable of eternal life freed from conditions 
of the flesh. Only man can desire better things, form an 
ideal, know God. 

Man lives fulfilling his desires in discrimination and 
advance. All his capacities are latent cravings, reaching 
consciousness as life greatens. He passes from savagery ; 
human potentiality becomes fact. More potently reason 
discriminates, and human nature overtops the brute. In 
the conflicts of desires he chooses what will be followed 
by no ill. and what is belter in itself, lasting, not tran- 
stent, in noble fulfilment of himself, rather than brutally 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



sel6sh, spiritual rather than material : in the end he 
chooses the eternal spiritual rather than matters of the 
flesh's quick satiety, emblematic of mortality, presaging 
dissolution. 

Though men differ, there is a foundation of common 
human trait. And despite differences of land and clime, 

the habitable earth presents many things alike 
r*Deveir^' to all. Everywhere shines the sun, and over 
ment ^ lands arches the high heaven with its starry 

night and changing moons; and everywhere 
night passes into day and evening comes again. No 
land without some change of seasons and the mysterious 
blowing of the wind. Injury and disease come to men 
everywhere, and men find themselves powerless before 
the ills which master them ; and everywhere men die. 
So is there everywhere pressed down on man a sense of 
something stronger than himself, something to fear. But 
all men are born of parents, nourished and protected in 
their infancy, and cat the fruits of earth ; they themselves 
yearn in desire, beget, bring forth and nourish, care for, 
even cherish, and so hand life on. Hence rise thoughts 
and sentiments the opposite of fear and hate, and men 
begin to trust and love. 

Thus wherever man dwells, his environment presents 
like features, and human life is moulded by similar ex- 
periences ; while everywhere man has the same sentient 
and percipient faculties and the faint waverings of rational 
apprehension with its will-o'-the-wisp hints of cause and 
effect. So from the beginning, men have a like enlighten- 
ment and rude appreciation of the facts of life. With 
shades of difference life teaches them alike, and alike they 
learn. Hence everywhere appear parallelisms of thought, 
analogous conceptions and modes of reasoning, and simi- 
lar opinions ethical and religious. So over all the world 
men have passed through — or not passed through! — 
broadly similar cosmogonic conceptions, usually set in 
myths of primordial engcnderings between sky and earth: 



INTRODUCTORY. 



everywhere men have projected their crude self-conscious- 
ness into the world without, confusedly conceiving all 
facts as acts of living beings: they have everywhere wor- 
•diipped the sun and moon and hosts of heaven, and their 
own ancestors, in fear of ill and hope of good, and buried 
food and weapons with their dead. And they have wor- 
shipped tribal gods, allies against hostile gods and hostile 
men. So have they gradually evolved like fundamental 
thoughts of conduct, and with increase of knowledge and 
experience broadened their ethical conceptions, from the 
family to the tribe, and from the tribe to men beyond it. 
They have passed — or failed to pass — through rouglily 
similar rude efforts to think matters they could not see 
or handle, endeavoring to imagine the human mind and 
spirit, and some have reached the finer ethical concep- 
tions which lay determining stress on the intent with 
which an act is done. Through these stages men have 
helped themselves to thoughts of that which is spiritual, 
and still help themselves, by like images and modes of 
reasoning taken from the analogies of material things;' 
and closely parallel have been the lines by which men 
have reached like opinions. . 

Primitive man thinks in mjrths; instead of reasoning, | 
he imagines. Having but begun to classify his expe- 
rience, he draws no clear distinctions between 
all the manifold forms of the phenomena which * ^' Pnmi- 
surround him. His sentiments towards them 
correspond to his nature, and yet vary in accord- 
ance with his diverse thoughts of everything with which or 
in despite of which he maintains his life. According as these 
sentiments relate to matters mysterious and powerful, he 

' E. g. : " The prtmitive nntion of the [Egyptian] word mait seems to be 
tlie geometrical one ' rijjlil,' as in ' right lioc.' as opposed to jjab, ' bent,' 
perverse. Maat as a noun is the 'straight rule,' 'canon.'" — Renouf, 
J^eHgion of Ancient Egypt (^\\\\hcn Lectures, 1879), p. 71. Similar deriva- 
tive M:n&e& of the words " right " and " straight " and of many other like 
coRimon words, run throogh the Icdo-Gennaotc taoenages, aodent and 
modern. 



tive Dis- 
quietude. 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



is afraid ; but ina<miuch as sustenance and means of living 
come from this vague enchanted region of the world 
without, sentiments of expectation, nay, of confidence, 
join with lits fears. These mingled sentiments shape his 
ideas of the extra-human, the super-human, the divine. 
And from the very first and rude beginnings of his 
dim child's thought, he knows all is not right between 
him and the potencies which form this irresistibly in. 
folding world, from out of which he faintly distin- 
guishes the god. Gradually gods, spirits, or demons are 
separated from his visible and invisible environment, and 
conceived as moving and controlling it. Towards them 
he must adjust himself, through them keep his lot favor- 
able. But never wholly favorable is the lot of man ; 
rarely does primitive man feel himself in sure benign re- 
lationship to his gods ; rarely is he without fear lest the 
god be, as in the past he may have been, baneful or 
vengeful. Then with advance from savagery, with the 
clearing up of thought and sense of self and what self 
fails to be. the mirror of man's fears turns on himself and 
shows him his shortcomings. Thus a feeling comes that 
he has not done all he might to propitiate the powers of 
life, that he has been remiss in sacrifice or prayer, remiss 
in honors due the god, or disobedient to such rules of 
conduct as he is beginning to think laid on him. As 
towards the powers without, he deeply fears; as towards 
himself, he is dissatisfied. 

In this state was the human race as its branches ad- 
vanced far enough to be perplexed. Well-nigh universal 
is the tradition of impiety resulting in destruction from 
the gods: Chaldrca has it, and the Hebrew race, and alt 
the Aryan races, likewise the Egyptian, though in Egypt 
the destruction came not through a deluge. But the 
"deluge" was very wide or very ancient; Chalda^, 
Israel, India, Iran, Greece, and peoples of America re- 
membered it in tradition.' These thoughts of fault. 

' See Frmn^ib Lenormant, l^a Originez de i'Huiffire, vol. i. dk. ii 
and viit. 



INTRODUCE 



shortcoming, and destruction involve the contrast of a 
time before, when men were innocent. And thus this 
first tradition carried the thought of Eden and tlie Golden 
Age, when God walked on the earth and gods were kings 
of men. 

So starts the human race most emblematically of com- 
ing failure and endeavor to retrieve unto a new advance. 
Men have not done well, and God has punished them. 
Bui there is hope, for the wrath is stayed ; and that peo- 
ple which knew God best most clearly sees His bow of 
promise in the firmament. Let man endeavor and strain 
on revering God. With small self-satisfaction and great 
! fear and sorrows manifold, toil and childbirth's pang, 
foes* onslaught, tyrant's cruelty, mysterious disea.se, death 
lowering and sure, the race in little, foolish knowledge 
lives along. Thought may look back over this ancient 
past, trace its grim lines, note the broad parallels of like 
environment within the variances of which, beneath the 
leadings of God's immanence, the human consciousness 
with self-asserting individuality attains itself, and men 
fare on along the triple path of knowledge, fear, and 
love. 

Whatever any men have done, what knowledge and ac- 
complishment they have reached, have never been entirely 
the doer's work. All deeds hang from a past, 
and arc conditioned on a present. No man 
can sever his attainment, or even his desire, 
from all that makes it possible. Yet palpably accom- 
plishment depends on things without, while man's desire 
is more nearly his ; for it is he. That which has ever 
purest human interest, is the endeavor and the aim. The 
true human story is not a story of what has been done on 
earth, but rather what man has set before him to desire 
and has striven to reach ; not the story of the veiling deed, 
but the story of the yearning life, which never can expand 
to quite the form it would — the story of what man has 
sought to be and do, and so has really been. What has 
been brought to pass upon the earth is a story of what 



Desire and 
Endeavor. 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



Indiridu- 



God has done ; man's part, which may be also God's one- 
step-removed efficiency, is his desire and will, his forming 
to himself a thought of what were best, his power of en- 
deavor thereunto. The efficient part in every man, which 
makes him what he is distinctively, is his conception of 
himself and God. And God sets this in man even as He 
gives him all he has, in answer to what man is and strives 
for. 

Primitive men lack that individuality which partly lies 
in choice of what is not thrown in the path by circum- 
stances. The savage is drawn on by the visible 
pleasant, and repelled by the visible ill ; when 
hungry he seeks food, and terrified he worships 
the tcrrifier. Slowly, influenced by environment, the 
rational selecting nature asserts itself, if faintly, and then 
man learns confusedly. But experience is bringing 
further knowledge which shall aid discrimination ; and as 
each race emerges into history, it has characteristics which 
appear not simply the fruit of its environment, but rather 
of its selection as it were of self from out of self's environ- 
ment. Each group of men has been selecting, necessarily 
with reference to circumstances, but still selecting, and in 
selection lie the beginnings of race individuality asserting 
its distinctness. 

Thereupon, onward from the advent of periods which 
have left their records, the characteristics of each race, be- 
coming more di.stinct, combine to form a more distinct 
race individuality. This, as the race matures, will evince 
itself in the choice of objects deemed worthy of at- 
tiunment, and in the form and manner and substantial 
measure of achievement actually reached. Races, as the 
Egyptian, or the people of Sumcr-Accad, which at an 
early period possess a considerable civilization, evince lit- 
tle conscious selection as to objects of attainment. They 
appear to take what their lives offer and suggest. Some- 
what bter races select with clearer and more consistently 
discriminating thought, till at last a highest stage of self- 




TNTRODUCTOftY. 



assertive individuality appears among the Hebrews and 
the Greeks. From the times of theiradvcnt as races, their 
choice and endeavors conform, with the one race, to ever 
larger thoughts of divine righteousness, with the other to 
ever clearer conceptions of the beautiful and good. 

More palpably race individuality declares itself in the 
form and manner and extent of actual accomplishment : 
for what the land affords, what it suggests, what it with* 
holds, what it subjects the race to, is enough to render the 
works and institutions of its dwellers different from those 
of other peoples. Environment continually conditions the 
plastic process through which in the course of years the 
actual achievement of a race — its religion, knowledge, 
ethics, social institutions, art — becomes distinctively its 
own, a reflection of itself. 

The ideal and the aim becoming ever clearer are not 
the whole of human progress; and individuality is, as it 
were, the differentiating aspect of the more 
positive and complete conception, personality. 
Human growth consists in two ceaselessly com- 
plementing modes, — desire, and action entered 
upon in consequence of it. The action results 
in some realization, which represents a growth 
of personality and in turn becomes an element of further 
desires leading to further acts. And although untoward 
circumstances and human weakness may thwart achieve- 
ment, no endeavor falls to the ground ; but according to 
its strength and correspondence to the best the man con- 
ceives, greatens the personality of him who has striven. 
All endeavor for the best reaches spiritual attainment. 
Even as this is true of each man. is it true of the races of 
mankind from generation to generation. The complete 
story of human progress is the stor>' of ideal conception and 
of endeavor, and the unfailing realization of ideals in the 
growth of human beings with ideals uplifted and enlarged. 
This makes the narrative of the enlargement and greaten- 
ing of human life ; it is a history of the growth of human 



Person- 
ality ; 
Modes of 
Humaa 
Growth. 



8 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



personality ; of the age-long development of the personaH< 
ties of men and women. 

Human life lies in spirit and intent. Apart from 
motives and desires, intelligence and will, the deeds of 
men are meaningless : and environment is insignificant 
save in relation to the soul which feels and loves and 
loathes, appreciates and understands. Life's furthest 
finite fact, the human personality, is an enigma which 
with its growth ever unfolds mystery. Yet it consists, in 
the individual consciousness, in feelings and desires, and 
their ordering; it consists in the sum of intellectual facul- 
ties and their content of thought ; it consists in the sum 
of emotion and desire mentalized in the intellect, trans- 
formed to discriminating and sclf-ordering spirit. All this 
is self; and its growth lies in the enlargement and intensi- 
fying of consciousness ; in the enlargement of conception 
and the uplifting of desire. 

From the beginning man is social, and personality grows 
through his enlargement of the conception of his relation- 
ship towards others, his family, his tribe, mankind at 
large ; it grows in the extension of his loves and sympa- 
thies and of his thought of duty. Neither is human 
consciousness ever void of sense of self's relationship to 
what is not man, to objects and the powers of nature 
which affect him, but which at 6rst arc hardly distin- 
guished in essence and in mode of action from himself 
and other men. Gradually, from out of the palpable ele- 
ments of his environment, he shapes his thoughts of 
spirits, demons, gods, in modes conforming to the con- 
sciousness of himself, to which, as his perception and 
intelligence sharpen, he perceives that natural objects and 
the powers of nature do not correspond. But the pres- 
ence and brute force of things remain, though he has 
severed from them his disposing gods. Thereupon will 
he recognize a general force in things, tending to become 
fate and law apart from the powers of the gods; and his 
reason grows in finer ethical apprehension of this law of 



iNTRODUCTORY. 



fate. Or else he raises his conception of divinity to all- 
embracing omnipotence, holding it ever in archetypal cor- 
respondence to consciousness of self, holding it therefore 
as conception of a person. And it may be that he will 
rise to apprehend God's personality in its perfectness and 
universal beneficent relationship to mankind. And then 
may come the more than thought of all men as God's 
creatures, cared for by Him, beloved by Him, sons of a 
common Father. The individual's thought and feeling of 
his relationship to other men is enlarged and unified in his 
thought of God. Men are members of society, members 
one of another; this thought is made perfect in the truth 
that all are members of God. Personality grows in the 
growth of these conceptions and the endeavor to conform 
life to them, 

Through all of this the man's thought of himself has 
become clearer, clearer too his thought of the individual 
personalities of other human beings ; and his ideas of 
pity, love, and justice have developed. Men have disen- 
gaged their individualities; they have come to know 
themselves loving or hating, good or bad, culpable or 
free from guilt, in themselves apart from family or tribe : 
and thus has man's personality advanced through better 
recognition of his own and others' individualities and in- 
dividual relationships to God and men. 

As the human personality enlarges.it intensifies through 
consciousness of its increased content, its broadened rela- 
tionships, its greater manifold of desires, its greater sum 
of worth unto itself. Each man's life becomes more 
precious; enhanced is his capacity for happiness in being 
man and living, and using and fulfilling the faculties and 
modes of human life. With this clearer consciousness of 
the joy and worth of life comes more intellectual prizing 
of it and discrimination of its true elements, rejection of 
its dross, and then again enhanced appreciation of the 
transcendent value of these truer, better, finer matters, 
till in each and all of its chosen elements with their cir- 



lO 



ANCIENT i DEALS. 



Topics of 
Inquify. 



cumstantial vantagings life grows in desirability, in loveli- 
ness and joy. And this intensifying of the joy of living, 
with the truer discrimination of what is felt and adjudged 
best, is another phase of growth of personality, of life. 
Through these long strainings to reach its best desires, 
which ever rise and broaden, the human personality has 
greatened totally; deeper its sense of happiness, broader 
its loves, farther its intellectual scope. Its growth has 
been in all its elements; not aJonc in reason and intelli- 
gence; not alone in the moral qualities thereto related; 
not alone in the emotional qualities of human nature; 
but in all of these, — in the whole man. 

In tracing the ideals of different peoples and the growth 
of human personality, evidently the subjects of inquiry 
will vary with the genius of each race. The 
main endeavors of the earliest civilized races 
being directed by the demands and suggestions 
of environment, their indistinct conceptions of what is 
best for men arc to be gathered from the general tenor of 
their lives and the more marked features of their material 
accomplishment. But as a race reaches more definite con- 
ceptions of man's furthest good, its ideals direct them* 
selves towards certain departments of high conception 
and endeavor. These will lead the inquiry to dctinitc 
topics. One race conceives an ideal of character : this is 
to be traced throughout the thoughts of conduct and 
civilities wherewith it sought to form and clothe itself. 
Another race, spurning its land's munificence and all life's 
fleeting gifts, fixes Its mind on the F^temal Absolute ; its 
yearnings should be sought for whtrre they arc disclosed. — 
in its religion and philosophy. Another race accepts all, 
and then discriminates with clearest vision and intelli- 
gence, proportioning life's factors, seeking to combine 
them in beauty's perfectness. and searching out a furthest 
knowledge of them all. Us ideals are to be sought for in 
the keen endeavorings of individual life, in art and poetry, 
and in philosophy. Again, the ideals of another people 




II 



are religious, comprised within its thoughts of a personal 
righteous and almighty God. and the desire to hold a 
right relationship with Him. They must be sought in 
the record of these thoughts and in the waveringly 
accordant conduct of the people. 

The present work would tell these various ideals of 
men, seeking them wheresoever with the different races 
they come to most distinct expression. Of necessity the 
data of the inquiry in its different fields will be the actual 
accomplishment which has been wrought, the actual at- 
tainment which has been reached. But the writer's pur- 
pose is to mark the ideal endeavor which, through its ever 
incomplete achievement, strives onward somewhither, 
somehow, to more perfect life, — and thereby gains it. 

The work does not touch the problems of the savage 
state nor the elusive question of the place or many places 
of origin of mankind. Jt does not look beyond the 
records and monuments of those races which have reached 
a measure of civilization ; and within that limit, so far as 
possible, it seeks to draw its inferences from matters as to 
which there is some concurrence among scholars. Yet It 
cannot avoid debatable ground ; indeed, the whole past 
is debatable ! But there is little utility in discussing con- 
troverted matters except fully, and that were impossible 
in a work like the present, which, however, the writer 
trusts is such as to indicate a knowledge on his part of 
these many controversies which he omits, but has not 
ignored. 

It seemed manifestly expedient that racehood should 
determine the larger divisions of the work. Then arises 
the question of their order. Iwidently when a 
mature race, coming in contact with another, 
aids its spiritual growth or hastens its corrup- 
tion, the former has a logical precedence which should be 
recognized and followed. But it is often impossible to 
trace a consequential connection between the thoughts of 
contemporary or succeeding races ; and the matter of 



Arrange- 
meot. 




la 



ANCtEffT IDEALS. 



priority in time may be of no great interest if relations of 
antecedent and consequent do not exist. When races do 
not appear to have influenced each other, the fact that 
one of them flourished at an earlier period may afford but 
a superficial reason for deciding the order of treatment. 
In view of parallelisms of thought and the usual course of 
development, this would turn more properly on the stage 
of civilization reached by the different races, or rather on 
the degree of intellectual perspicacity with which they 
formulated ideals distinct from the suggestions of their 
environments, and on the measure of the human personal- 
ity they reached. Savagery logically precedes civilization, 
vague apprehension goes before a more discriminating 
understanding of the elements of life, and undeveloped 
pcrM)nality, however stricken with case-hardening years, 
is antecedent to that which holds a larger growth. 

Egypt presents itself as the country whose known his- 
tory extends farthest, whose civilization appears original ^j 
And though the Egyptians early made great progress in ^| 
the arts, they never laid their mental crudities aside, but ' 
remained a race ancient and primitive, a great doer in the 
way of material accomplishment, a universal conserver of 
all elements of its self-retarded growth. It is for us the 
earliest example of a civilization material, peaceful, and 
benign. 

Yet only for us at present, since many considerations 
point to Chaldaea as the first home of culture. The 
ancient people of Sumer-Accad offer this general resem- 
blance to the Egyptians that their civilization in the main 
was one of peace. But the history of Chaldaea is still a 
babel ; dim struggling peoples come and go ; one drives 
another out and is expelled in turn, or destroyed, or 
pressed into tracelcss existence. All is built up to be 
obliterated. Chaida:a has no ancient monumental record 
consecutive and voluminous like Egypt's. Nevertheless 
fthe discloses most archaic elements and many indications 
of her ancient sourccful past» whence issued to fare west- 



ri 



4 



^DUCTOKY. 



I 



I 



ward, northward, and it may be even unto the far east, 
strange mingled streams of foolishness and knowledge. 
Along currents of Chalda:an influence one may travel 
into Phoenicia or Asia Minor, from either of these coun- 
tries pass to Greece, and track the Babylonian numbers 
on to Rome. 

Assyria was Chaldaea's foster-child, which for a thou* 
sand years or more should look upon its parent as a font 
of knowledge and a prey. While Assyria stood, she was 
the warrior, the plunderer, the uprooter, the impaler and 
the torturer, and Jehovah's rod. 

In the far cast another race was in some respects to 
form an analogue to Egypt. Its culture was not alto* 
gether underived, for the rudiments may have come from 
Chalda:a. but most original in subsequent development. 
The civilization of the lands bordering the Yellow 
River was one of peace, and as conservative as Egypt's. 
The Chinese were not possessed with Chald^a's supersti- 
tious fearfulness, and in their mental progress they sur- 
passed the Egyptians through their capacities of ethical 
formulation. They evolved a clear ideal of character 
which, however, never freed itself from a complexity of 
ceremonial conduct. 

A different Nemesis awaited the Vedic Aryans in India, 
the land which they had conquered in the joyousness of 
strength, trusting their bright gods. In them and their 
descendants was a mighty power of thought. They used 
it to show how thought's consistent power, misguided by 
the darkening moods of men, might reach the full pe- 
riphery of all life's nothingness. The Avcsta branch of 
kindred Aryans thought too, yet kept their minds from 
India's many sloughs. For thought, like life, to them 
was conflict of the good with bad. the lie with truth. It 
may be this Avesta folk became the Persian race, and 
broke itself first against Greece, then in its own corrup- 
tion, for though Aryan it was Asian. 

All this forms the background of Greece, and in part 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



was her inheritance. But whatever Greece received she 
transformed, and more did she create. She cleared up 
the human consciousness and the laws of thought, for 
herself thinking in truth and beauty on all the manifold 
of human life, loving its fullest compass. 

Politically, Alexander made ready the Mediterranean 
lands to become the Roman Empire ; and in every way 
Greece taught her conqueror Rome. The Grieco-Roman 
world politically, socially, intellectually, and in mood, be- 
came ready for new life. Jesus showed it. Israel's inspir- 
ation led up to Christ's revelation. To an apprehension of 
Cliristianity is needed an understanding of its direct ante- 
cedent. Hence Israel's topical position immediately pre- 
cedes Christianity, the new power in the world, but fol- 
lows Rome and Greece, the ingathcrers of the elements 
which made the time. 



CHAPTER !I. 



EGYPT, CHALUjEA. AND CHINA. 



FROM time immcmoria] the fertility of river valleys, 
rather than desert and mountain barriers, ha^i 
stayed the wanderings of men, and the most 
ancient civilizations appear .is the work of peaceful peo- 
ples. No echoes of any strife of early self-establishment 
remain in the traditions either of Sumer- 
Accad or of Egypt; and while even the Eleo>ent*rf 
Egyptians, and much more the Sumerian pco- "fE°\^ 
pie, had need of valor to defend their lands, Races, 

nevertheless the life and interests of both 
races centre in peace. It is somewhat different with the 
story of those " black-haired " tribes who, twenty-five 
centuries before Christ, established themselves by the 
Yellow River. Since these ancestors of the Chinese 
entered China at this comparatively late period, accounts 
survive of their conflicts with surrounding tribes; yet — 
here the likeness with Egypt and Sumer-Accad reasserts 
itself — the civilization which had begun and was to 
develop with great originality in China was one of peace 
and toil. Any race which, through some superiority, 
establishes itself in a fertile valley, finds toil better than 
warring with less favored tribes, and tends to become a 
peaceful people. 

From Menes to Ptolemy. Egyptian thought was 
characterized by crass confusion. It analyzed nothing. 
had neither clearness nor consistency, nor power to 
discriminate and classify. In consequence ethics remained 

<5 



i6 



ANCmNT IDEALS, 



Mental 
CrudiUea, 



gressive* 
oess. 



unsystematized precept ; with all the picturesque elabora- 

lion of a future life, no thought of spiritual 

Egyptian immortality was reached ; the religion saw no 

inconsistency between one god and many ; and 

the race's mighty material accomplishment 

lacked ennobling aim. 

Scant record of a primitive Egypt remains. The earliest 
monuments presuppose an unmeasured past. With her 
first historic dynasties, Eg>'pt reaches her best. 
andUnpro- jj^ excellence of building, she never surpassed 
the Great Pyramid ; nor did her artists ever 
make better statues than some of the oldest ; 
and Ptahotep's precepts * were scarcely improved on. 
Egypt offers the longest of histories, and has no advance 
to show. Astounding is she at the time of her monu- 
mental beginning ; but this strange ancient child fulfils 
no promise as the centuries pass. 

The conceptions of savages arc indistinct. Their con- 
sciousness of self is undeveloped ; they have no thought 
of existence unlike their own, or of power save 
Conceptions .,g animated by something like human will. 
Death. Thus they project their inchoate self-conscious- 

ness into the external world. It requires some 
clear thought to think of anything as definitely ceasing. 
A savage does not think of death as ending man's exist- 
ence. Plainly, the moveless body cannot help and feed 
itself; but no thought has come of a spirit needing no 
bodily nourishment. Out of the dilemma issues the 
universal though variable conception of a ghost or shade 
or double, a material yet impalpable survival of the man. 
Its thin life hangs on conditions of mortality, without the 
body's substantial power to fulfil them; so must it be 
provided for by others. 

As a race progresses, it may reach a conception of mind 
as essentially di^erent from body: and with clearer con- 
ception of spirit, thoughts of responsibility for wrongful 

' V djmuty. 



BGYPT, CHALDjSA, Af>lD CHINA. 



»7 



The 

Elaborate 

Egyptian 

Scheme. 



acts lay stress upon the intent with which an act is done. 
Therewith, thoughts of a future life undergo a change and 
become ethical. The human lot after death is conceived 
to depend less on funeral rites, the fate of the body, or 
the survivors' care, and more on the moral worth of the 
deceased's earthly life. A final stage is the conception of 
a spiritual immortality freed from conditions of life in the 
body. 

The Egyptians elaborated in unparalleled detail their 
notions of a future life. Gradually they made that life 
dependent on the good conduct of the man on 
earth ; yet they never passed beyond thoughts 
of mortality indefinitely, but precariously, ex- 
tended under conditions to which life on earth, 
while similar, was preferable. Apparently, their 
earliest conception was the ka, or double* the body's 
strengthless equivalent in form. As a basis for its exist- 
ence the body, or images of the body, must be preserved ; 
and the ka had to be lodged and fed. Lodged it was in 
the Mastaba,' the walls of which were covered with all 
imaginable pleasant scenes from the deceased's earthly 
life, which should project their reality into the double's 
shadowy existence. Vet the double was but a poor im- 
potency. So human elements surviving death were given 
more active powers,' and grouped together in the concep- 
tion of a voracious hawklike soul, the bi. Finally was 
added the conception of the kltcu^ according to which the 
sou) was as a pale bluish flame. And, as in Egypt no 
notion once held was ever abandoned, men came to have 
a ka^ a bu and a khou. The Egyptians saw no inconsist- 
ency; man's post-mortem self might be different things, 
oeed not be one thing or another. From adjacent walls 

' For the details of these tombs of the old empire, see Perrot and Chiptcz, 
Hittairt dt V Art fianj t'Anliquti/- — " L'Ejypte." 

• By the time of the V and VI dynasties, see Maspero's translatioos of 
ihe iriMJipiions from the pyramids of Unas, Teii, and Pepi, in Kecmeil det 
TVatviMs. 



I8 



ANCIENT IDRALS. 



of the same tomb, what survived of the dead man ml^ht 
climb upon a ladder and soar as a hawk. 

The history of beliefs in a future life has nothing as 
picturesque as those of the Egyptians under the eigh- 
teenth and nineteenth dynasties, when Egypt was pre- 
eminent in art and fancied knowledge as in arms. Death 
is still a dark vicissitude of life and an impcrihnent to be 
passed through. The defunct has a long voyage to ac- 
complish, for which his mummy is elaborately equipped 
and his tomb so prepared as to facilitate. The ceremonies 
of interment rendered visible its perilous progress. One 
episode of the funeral rites was the hysterical banquet at 
the tomb, in which the dead man shares. Singers singed 
and dancers dance ; the harper plays on his harp bidding 
the dead man to take his cheer' and admonishing the 
living to make merry until they go to the land which 
loveth silence. That was a place of darkness and of 
danger. Perhaps only the great possessed the means 
of passing through its perils; and a continuance of ex- 
istence may have been the lot of few ;' at least, but few 
could have a comfortable, unlaborious life In the world of 
the departed, nor there be subject to the corvee of the 
gods, and forced to till the Belds and carry grain, like 
laborers on earth.' Such fortunate ones might reach 
a life palely reflecting earthly Joys of sense. 

The Book of the Dead" is the collection of incantations, 
composed and collected through a period extending over 
many centuries, knowing which the defunct shall escape 
the dangers of his journey. They almost form an epic» 
whose magic hero is the composite personality of the d& 

'See Mupero, y&untai Atiaii^tu, 1&80, pp. yjl^tiuq. 

'See Mupero, " Uvre des Morts." Ji^vue det ReHgt^m^ wri. m, pp. 
a6&-3l6; republished io Chides dt U MythatogU dts BgypHtnmti, vol. i, 
pp. 325-387. 

* Little figures of men tilling, ti*rre«ting, etc., pUced in the tomb mi^lif 
•errc aa (be defunct's »ubMituic in kucb Uboni. — fh. 

' See Mupero, ** LtTre dcs Mortx," Rivtu det Rt&gimu^ voL xv, pp. 



A/^D CI. 



VAT 



ceased. " The Osiris," for thus is he identified with the 
principal god of the dead, has first to recover the use of 
limbs, voice, heart, by means o( magic utterances. Then 
he passes through perils which he wards off, using words 
of charm to repel scorpions and crocodiles, as well as 
hunger and thirst. In due time he is re-united with his 
isit. In mystic formulae also he proclaims, and so effects 
it, that his nature is that of all the gods, and he gains the 
powers to transform himself into various animals and 
birds. Finally with the Osirian circle of ideas there joins 
confusedly the circle of Ka, that of the fortunes of the 
Sun, in which '*the Osiris" is mystically enabled to par- 
ticipate ; — he voyages with Ra. At the end of his voy- 
agings and adventures he undergoes judgment in the 
'* Hall of Truth," where he proclaims his innocence of 
every crime. But magic elements enter even this judg- 
rocnt scene : the righteousness of *' the Osiris " would not 
save him, could he not pronounce the names of the bolt 
of the door of the Hall of Truth, of the left and right 
panels, of the sill, of the door, the lock, the door-posts, 
and the door-keeper, each name at the bearer's demand. 
Egypt's Book of the Dead abandoned no crude material 
notion from the past ; hence no consistently high thought 
was reached. There was no thought that a future life is 
a life of spirit, and not a magically wrought continuance 
of the life of earth. 

The Sumcrian-Semitic people of Mesopotamia had no 
conception of life beyond the grave to rival in elaboration 
the Egyptian scheme; nor is it plain that 'Hey -phe Sayage 
attached importance to the ethical character Babylonian 
of the deceased's life on earth. They were fur- Thought. 
ther than Egypt from a spiritual conception of immor- 
tality, and their thought of existence in and beneath the 
tomb outdid in horror the grave* encircliog fantasies of 
other ancient peoples.' 

'See, 'v^>, Ishtar't Dfseent, for translation and bibliography of vhicb vee 
Hftspero. JJawn of CivilixatioH, p. 693. 



20 



Al^CtENT IDEALS. 



EeTpUan 

Gods. 



As Egyptian conceptions of life after death, held for 
four thousand years or more, indicate mental limitations 
which the race showed no capacity to pass, so 
is like witness borne by the conceptions of the 
gods. Confusion and absence of consistently 
progressive thought characterize the Egyptian pantheon. 
It is difficult to separate early from late beliefs, and im- 
possible to pronounce with certainty whether one god or 
many was first in the Nile Valley.' Semi-barbarous no- 
tions of gods extend through the entire series of Egyptian 
monuments; and likewise at any period may be found 
pantheistic or even monotheistic expressions. These use 
the word nutr, which in modem language can be rendered 
only *' God." Yet whatever fulness of meaning be 
ascribed or denied this word, the manner of its use shows 
that there were at the same period — as is always the case 
everywhere — opposed conceptions of divinity. The nom> 
arch Ptahotep, living under the fifth dynasty, expresses 
thoughts of God lofty and ethical, apparently mono- 
theistic, at all events removed as pole from pole from 
the barbarous superstitions which cover the walls of the 
pyramids of Unas, Teti, and Pepi, where the ka of the de- 
funct prevails upon the gods, not by prayer or righteous- 
ness, but by magic charm and incantation, overcomes them 
with fear, and hunts and feeds on them. Similarly, two 
thousand years later there is like contradiction between 
the !;cribe Ani's thoughts of God and those prevalent 
under the twentieth dynasty, when he lived.' Even then 
the Egyptians did not clearly sever the concept of a god 

' S«€ WiedefTOftnn, /Ji> Rtti^im der Atten yEgypUt, Kiolcitnng (lfl90) J j 
and generally Maspctti, "La Mythologie Ivgyj>ticanc." /"v^ir* */<■ /"//ijiWrr 
des XttigioHM, vol. Eviii, pp. 2S3'-278, and vol. jux. pp. l-4S (1B89), ro^J 
pubUaheJ in vol. ii, Maspero't £.tuiies di Mythalagir, etc. 

' On the other hsni). it would be incorrect to regard Ptahotep and Anil 
aa ipeaking ihc thoughts of the <ducated. while the inscriptions rcflcoti 
popular saperstitloDS. Undnahtedly these mnralUts eiprcued the best of 1 
Egyptian thought ; but all our knowledge of Ivgyptioo belief comea from 
royal temples or tombs of kings, priests, and nobles, and so mutt alio be 
takea as representing beliefs of the educated clashes. 



EGYPT, CHALDjEA^ AND CHINA, 



21 



from that of a man, and regarded the gods as only in 
degree less subject than mankind to old age, hunger, 
poison, wounds, and death.' 

With the Egyptians, religion — prayer, worship, amulet 
or incantation — was a means of bending to the fulfilment 
of their desires the vague mass of powers and influences 
which made their environment and fate. These powers, 
real or imagined, took shape and name in multitudinous 
gods. Nor did the Egyptians rest with giving name and 
active attribute to creations of their fantasy and to the 
overarching powers of day and night. From uut of the 
a^regate of all outside of man they distinguished nothing 
as being not divine, and so requiring neither worship nor 
deprecatory' charm. Any object might in some way be 
some sort of god : and from the earliest to the latest times 
they worshipped animals/ But the same animals were 
not worshipped, alike over all Egypt ; nor were the imag- 
ined gods gods equally throughout the land. Ptah was 
the god of Memphis, as Amon of Thebes, and Ra of 
Kcliopolis ; each and every god becoming of wider exal- 
tation as his locality became capital in dignity or power. 
These gods of local origin were not distinct, and, besides 
supplementing each other in a common Egyptian pantheon, 
might readily unite in compound divinities like Amon-ra. 

A basis for the growth of gods and a mythology 
lay in the action, co-operative or conflicting. Beoeficent 
of the powers of nature which as to man are Givers of 
beneficent or noxious. In other lands the same L'^*' 

phenomena at times bring life and death; but in Egypt 
flood was benign, drought always noxious, and good and 
bad were clearly typified in the Nile's conflict with the 
desert. Here, or in the conflict of the Sun with darkness, 
might the Egyptians find a quasi-ethical starting-point for 

' The Turin papyrus (XX Dyn.J which contaitiii the legend of Ra and 
lib, speaks of Ra as self-exUtcot and yet as growing old and feeble. See 
^VP- ^l"^f . 1883. p. 27. etc. ; also Wiettcnnann, JitUgion, etc., p. 29 ; 
ud Erman, Aegypftn, p. 359, etc. 

'See Wicdermann, KeHgion, etc., ch. vii. 



33 



ANCiENT iDSALS. 



their reU^on. Both were illustrative of the more mysteri- 
ous conflict of life and death, and seem to have formed the 
basis of the Solar and Osirian groups of myths. Perhaps 
in the steady and recurrent course of these phenomena, 
affecting men uniformly throughout the Nile Valley, some 
Egyptians may have also found suggestion whereby to 
generalize the divine nature, and find it as a principle of 
life assuming difterent forms. At all events, both on the 
earth and in the land of the departed, the gods were 
always givers of life. Throughout the famous hymn to 
Amon-ra' is he lifc-giver. The worshipper views him as 
the sun that shines and traverses the heavens, then as the 
life-giving principle of all things, then as kind and merci- 
ful, and also as the local god of Thebes. 

The Egyptians related everything in life to the powers 
without them and so, confusedly, to God. By themselves 
they would attempt nothing ; charms, incantations, sacri- 
fices, were means efficacious in all affairs of life on this 
earth and hereafter. But with the milder and benevolent 
spirit which was Egypt's best, thoughts of man s relation- 
ship to God and of the divine beneficence and justice rose 
with some men. And so to some. God, or the gods or 
garbed life-principles, appeared as just, benevolent, and 
merciful. Such men transformed the ways of amulet and 
incantation, and the power of the correctly spoken word, 
into the thought of reverence before God and endeavor to 
conform human conduct to such modes as such a god 
would sanction. 

Egj'ptian ethics, like the Egyptian pantheon, reflect 

the kindly, peaceful disposition of the race, and also its 

inaptitude for rational systematization or con- 

^^. " sistent thought. The absolute dominion of a 

king always constituted the government of 

Egypt. For the times of the Old Empire, the contrast 



* Wiedermaiu), RtHgivn. etc, p. 64. Translation also in vol. II, Met. */ 
tfu pott. Stmilar thoughts are expressed in the hyma to the Nile, /ite. 9/ 
tin Fast, N, S.. vol. iii. 



EGYPT, CHALD^A, AND CHINA. 



n 



between the pyramids of the kings and the tombs of 
Egypt's unroyal worthies present the difference between 
king and subjects as absolutely as was possible with a 
people who bad no clear conception of difTerence in kind, 
and hence could express only a colossal difference in de- 
gree. For the later Empire the inscriptions pronounce 
the pharaoh a god in no uncertain voice. Round him 
revolved the people's life. Yet between the time of the 
Old, the Middle, and the New Empire, views of a king's 
right function may have altered. At first it seemed 
natural that absolute power should exert itself in favor of 
its possessor. The early pharaohs employed the re- 
sources of the realm in building pyramids. No reason 
was yet reached why the disposer of his subjects' lives 
should not employ them on his tomb. Here was no 
wanton tyranny. The action of Khufu and Khafra was 
representative of the action of men under the Old Empire 
towards dependants within their power. 

By the time of the twelfth, the great dynasty of the 
Middle Empire, there had arisen broader conceptions of 
the duties of a pharaoh. These Usertesens and Amenem- 
bats constructed works of national utility. Says one of 
them' after his death appearing to his successor in a 
dream : '* Li.sten to what 1 speak unto thee. Now thou 
art a king on earth, act even better than did thy prede- 
cessors. Let concord be kept between thy subjects and 
thyself, lest people should give their heart up to fear. 
Being among them, do not isolate thyself, and let not the 
lords and nublcmen alone fill thy heart ; but grant not 
access to thee to people whose friendship has not long 
been tried. As for myself. I have given to the humble 
and made the weak to be. My image lives in the hearts 
of men, for I have made those who were afflicted free 
from their afflictions, and their cries are heard no more. 
Whether locusts were drawn up to plunder, whether I 
was assaulted by seditions in the interior of my house* 

* lutnicrioDS of Aineremhat I, Rec. o/ the fait, vol. U. 




H 



ANCJBl^T JDEALS. 



whether the Nile waters were too low and welk dry, 
whether my enemies took advantage of thy youth for 
their deeds. — I never drew back since the day when I 
was born. I stood in the boundaries of the land to keep 
watch on its borders. I was a maker of bread, the lover 
of Nepra.' He granted me the rising of the Nile upon 
the cultivated lands. There was no creature hungry 
through me, no creature thirsty through me. AH my 
orders increased the love my people bore nie. I hunted 
the lion. I fought the Nubians and the Asiatics. I built 
myself a house adorned with gold ; its roof was painted 
blue, the walls were of stone bound together \vith metal. 
Made for eternity, time shrinks before it." After the 
Middle Empire had been overthrown, and its conquerors. 
the Hyksos, in turn expelled, then with the great con- 
quering Thothmes and Ramses of the New Empirecomcs 
a novel vaingloriousncss. Nevertheless the thought that 
a pharaoh should be a beneficent god to his subjects was 
not lost.' 

The ancient ethical ideals of Egypt may be found in the 
Precepts of Ptahotep* " son " of King Assa of the fifth 
dynasty. They are shrewd and kindly, and express that 
conservatism which Egyptians and Chinese have jxisscsscd 
beyond other races. Ptahotep disclaims originality ; 
what were that but innovation ? He would set forth the 
wisdom of former days : " Seek the most perfect way 
that thy conduct may be above reproach. Justice is great, 
invariable, and assured : it has not been disturbed since 
the age of Osiris. God will take away the bread of him 
who enriches himself by inspiring fear. 

'* If thou art a leader of peace, listen to the discourse of 
the petitioner. Be not abrupt with him ; that would 
trouble him : Say not to him : * Thou hast already re- 
counted this.' Indulgence will encourage him to accom- 

' Tlw Cora-god. 

*Scc t.g. tlarrifl Papfnis. " Annalt of Ramses IIT," Rn. «f the Past, 
vol. «ii. "Trin»a*ted by P. Viwy. Jit<. *//*/ P*ii, N. S.. *oL \\i. 



EGYPT, CHALD^A, AND CHINA. 



plish the object of his coming. , . . The way to 
obtain a clear explanation is to listen with kindness." 
Ptahotep Uf^es gentleness in overcoming opposition. 
" Let thy love pass into the heart of those who love thee : 
cause those about thee to be loving and obedient." And 
*'if thou hast become great after having been little 
. . . rich after having been poor, head of the city, 
. » . harden not thy heart because of thy elevation ; 
thou art become the steward of the good things of God. 
Put not behind thee thy neighbor who is like unto thee : 
be unto him as a companion." 

The concluding pages of these Precepts set forth the 
advantages of filial obedience, how it profits the son in 
every way, bringing greatness, dignity, and long life; " It 
produces love, the good thing which is twice good." When 
the son receives his father's instruction, there is no error 
in all his plans : — but " the man without experience, who 
listens not, effects nothing whatsoever. He sees knowl- 
edge in ignorance, profit in loss ; he commits all kinds of 
error, always choosing the contrary of what is praise- 
worthy. . . . Let no one innovate upon the precepts 
of his father : let the same precepts form his lessons to 
his children,'" 

But the most authoritative expression of Egyptian 
ethics is the famous negative confession in the Bookof tlu 
Dead. '*The Osiris " has done no fraud nor oppression, 
has caused no one to hunger or weep, has not robbed tlie 
mummies, nor falsified the weights of the balance, nor 
taken milk from the mouth of children; — better ethics 
could scarcely be put in precepts unsystematized, related 
to no controlling principle. They arc set in elements of 
mystic incantation, showing thus that clear thought of 
meritoriousness was hardly Egypt's, even as she had no 
clear thought of human immortality or the divine nature. 

I Tiro tboosand years after Ptahotep may be found like maxims, only a 
little ^harpeiiei). Sec for iustancc " Les Maximes du Scribe Anl," Uau. by 
F. Cbabas ia V Bg^'ptohgi*, 



26 



ANCTENT IDEALS, 



The character and intellectual qualities of a race show 

themselves not only in the contents of its writings and 

the thoughts which it would carry out in archi- 

Puerility of tccturc, sculpture, and pictorial decoration, but 

Ejp »»n ^jgQ jj^ jj^g style in which it expresses itself in 

Literature. , / *, . . * 

literature and art. For style is an exponent of 

perception and discrimination, and betrays the presence 
or the absence of the artistic intelligence which uses effec- 
tive means and avoids what is superfluous or incongruous. 
The creative arts, moreover, are intellectual in so far as 
accomplishment depends upon man's higher intellectual 
faculties, and unintellcctual in so far as accomplishment 
may result through adventitious circumstances, or from 
manual skill and that lower form of patience, physical in- 
sistance as it were, whereby manual skill is reached or, 
without it, substantial results are had. Only the most in- 
telligent peoples have excelled in the literary art ; while in 
the constructive and the plastic arts much has been 
wrought by races lacking in the higher perceptive, reason- 
ing, and proportioning faculties. Yet architecture, sculpt- 
ure, painting, afford scope for supreme intelligence, and 
without it cannot reach the higher modes of beauty. 

Thus comes it that Assyria for example accomplished 
much in building and sculpture, nothing in literature ; and 
while the art of Egypt has striking excellence, the litera- 
ture is puerile. It was the fault of her intelligence. The 
Egyptians in matters above the range of common life 
lacked thoughts clear and distinct, which bring with them 
a sense that the matter not only is as conceived, but can- 
not also be otherwise. Hence their slight sense for incon- 
sistency and the incongruous. Nor did they perceive a 
matter so clearly as to see its limits, where it ceased, and 
something else began : in consequence they had no sense 
of the superfluous, no sense of interruption of the 
thought, no sense of departure from the main idea, the 
thing itself. 

So Egyptian narrative has slight merit. Its defects are 



EGYPT, CHALDj^A, AND CHINA. 



37 



least striking in unambitious popular tales where inconse- 
quence is not without an effect of its own. The autobio- 
graphical narratives are monotonous successions of flat 
statement.' The royal inscriptions are monotones of bom- 
bast with no connection between successive vaunts. Most 
famous is the poetical inscription of Pentaur, telling of 
the combat of Ramses with the Cheta. Ramses' prayer 
to Amon is vigorous, but the courtly narrative forgets to 
move in waiting on the royal boasting. 

The Egyptians had another intellectual shortcoming 
which alone might have prevented any noble literature; 
they never reached an understanding of the force and 
import of generalized statement. Magical incantations 
do not trust to generalization, but must particularize 
every detail. The Book of tlu Dead is illustration. Its 
magic formulae were not content to procure for the de- 
funct the power of motion and the right to pass through- 
out this and the other world : they could not trust to 
such a generality ; so must they bring to him and vitalize 
each organ of his body, and separately insure each func- 
tion against every evil power; likewise these formulae 
give the defunct, not only power to live, but power not 
to die. The Egyptian mind was sodden with their spirit ; 
and the incapacity to feel the force of generalized state- 
ment affects all parts of Egyptian literature. In the 
hymns to Amon or the Nile, there is no lyric movement, 
no gathering up of previously stated thought or feeling, 
and carrying it on in generalization, or in lines which 
innply all that has gone before. In these, as in inferior 
compositions, broad statements are made, but the writer 
seems not to feci their content, and may return to the 
preceding order of detail. Nor is there an approach to a 
logical presentation of a subject with the deductions 
drawn therefrom. It is significant of the limitations of 
the Egyptian mind that, while Egypt has left exhaust- 

' The best of ihcse, peihnps, is a lale of Uie xii dynasty — tltt adven- 
tnra of Sinuhii, vol. ii. Rtc. of tke Ptui, N, S. 



28 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



less records, no £g>-ptian conceived the thought of 
history. 

Monumental remains tell the full story of the Egyptian 
not unkindly, indiscriminate greed for life's bulk rather 
than life's best. And since a large proportion 
Qualltlea of ^^ ^^ religious belief related to life after death 
Architec- ^"^ ^^ means of insuring its continuance, and 
tnre, as these means lay so largely in building, pic- 

torial representation, and sculpture, Egypt's 
monuments express these beliefs and embody them. 
Likewise, the temples tell the beliefs as to the gods, and 
the king's relationship to them in matters pertaining to 
the domain of earth. And finally the art entire of Egypt 
tells the experience and knowledge of the Eg>"ptians, and 
displays their mental qualities in the modes in which they 
sought to effect their ends. 

The Great Pyramid is the most admirably built of 
Egyptian structures. Its marvellous excellence of con- 
struction, in some parts more careful than in others, 
might excuse the absurd ideas which men have held 
regarding it. Its base lines for example are almost abso- 
lutely correct in levelling as well as angle; and well-nigh 
mysterious is the skill with which the huge limestone 
slabs of the "grand gallery" are dressed and cemented 
together.' Yet when the construction has been .idmired, 
admiration ceases. The architectural design is simple ; 
the fundamental idea is barbarous ; — that of ensuring the 
man's eternal existence by protecting the body with a 
heap of stone. Moreover the excellences of the pyramid, 
which lay in its construction, depended not on the higher 
qualities of the human mind, so much as on adventitious 
circumstances and that knowledge which is the accumu- 
lation of centuries of experience. The Nile inundation 
floated the blocks of granite and limestone to the spot, 
and, stopping for the time all works of agriculture, placed 
the entire population of the country at the disposal of the 
' See FUnden Petrie, Pyrawtids and TemfUi */ Ci^k. 



EGYPT, CIIALD^A, AND CHINA. 



29 



king. Undoubtedly he had also thousands of masons to 
dress the stones ; there are even suggestions that the 
methods and tools employed were excellent/ Intelli- 
gence is needed to measure the Great Pyramid, and math- 
ematical knowledge to calculate its angles. Its builders 
did not have such knowledge. Egyptian arithmetic was 
crude, and geometry never passed beyond the simplest 
propositions.' 

The Theban temples are not as excellently built ; and 
their columns have fallen, and still fall, because insecurely 
based. These temples are impressive because they are 
immense, a matter dependent on the wealth of the 
pharaoh. and the vainglory of his prodigality. No 
single thought shapes their entire construction. When 
the temple was begun there doubtless was a plan and 
grouping of the parts around a centre. But in successive 
reigns new halls and added galleries made all into a plan- 
less aggregate.' Here as elsewhere in creations of the 
Egyptian mind, there is no sense of inconsistency or 
superfluity, no consciousness of unity impaired. Nor 
was there always an intelligent use of structural forms. 
The diameter of a pillar is not kept proportioned either 
to its height* or to the weight which it sustains.' And it 
is curiously characteristic of the Egyptian race, that these 
pillars from century to century show no progressive modi- 
fication of form, no increase of height in proportion to 
diameter, as the Greek columns showed, progressing from 
early to later Doric, then to Ionic and Corinthian.' 

The pictorial representations with which Eg>'ptians 
covered tombs and temples were sometimes slightly in 
relief, and sometimes slightly sunken in the stone. In 

' See Flinders Pctrie, li., ch. xJx* 
'See Emuin, Aegyften, ch. xiv. 

* The ouunpte here is the ercat temple at Karoak. 

* As in Greek temples. 

' As ftcqueotly in Gothic or Norman cathedrals. 

•See PcrTOiandChlpier,/rfjM>/rf^y'-<r/dlMw/'-*irt<f»MV/— "L'Egypte,*' 
^574. 



30 



A^a&NT IDEALS. 



the tombs of the Old Empire they represent the di 
man with hia wife, and also acts and services performed 
by his dependants. When the owner of the 
•* tomb was drawn, the matter of main interest 
was the man himself; and the idea seems to have been to 
render as much of his form as possible, and each part 
thereof in its most prominent aspect. That the figure as 
a whole might be out of harmony and truth was not con- 
sidercd. Accordingly the face is always in profile, save 
the eye, which is rendered in the full.' Then the chest 
and shoulders are drawn in front view ; hence the neck is 
necessarily turned, as are the loins, where a transition is 
needed from the front presentation of the chest to the 
legs, which arc again In profile, one advanced before the 
other. When these figures are drawn facing to the spec- 
tator's right, the left arm is advanced,' the hand grasping 
a staff on which it supports itself, while the right arm is 
extended downward back of the body. Thus both arms 
are completely shown and no part of the body hidden. 
The feet are drawn wrong, both right and left foot, so as 
to present its inner side, showing the great toe. Whether 
or not these peculiarities began as errors of primitive 
attempts to draw the human form, at all events they be- 
came conventionalities which were never given up. The 
drawing of each member considered by itself was 
substantially correct; the error lay in the impossible 
combination, an error not disturbing to the Egyptian 
mind. 

Passing from the representations of the principal figure 
in these tombs of the Old Empire to those of his servants, 
one notices that the latter are engaged in acts useful or 
pleasant to the deceased ; and the important matter is to 
represent, not their persons, but what they arc doing. 
They are drawn with legs and arms in positions which 

' This Cut cvuiot be regardsd as « m&uer of trchaic inftbUity with Egyp- 
tian artists ; for it bcM till Ptolemaic times. 
• LikcfHse the left leg- 



EGYPT, CffALD^A, AND CHINA. 



3' 



show the act engaged in, and so are drawn more naturally 
than their masters. 

These characteristics of the drawings from the Old 
Empire continue through the Middle Empire and the 
New. Yet an element of progress is noticeable : the pro- 
files of the important personages become gradually more 
refined, attaining to great beauty and to a royal dignity 
in some of the drawings of the eighteenth and nineteenth 
dynasties ; while on the other hand, as in the tombs from 
the twelfth dynasty at Benihassan, the painter gives to 
his wrestlers and tumblers distinctly vulgar features.' 

Sculpture in the round does not lead to the same con- 
ventionalities as drawing. It may develop conventionali- 
ties of its own. occasioned by the nature of the 
material worked in* As the Egyptians sought crniDtuie 
in their statues qualities of endurance, the ten- 
dency, especially in the statues of kings who need spare 
no expense, was to select harder material than could be 
freely worked. The tombs of the Old Empire furnish 
statues of two kinds, corresponding to the two kinds of 
figures represented on the walls: portrait statues of the 
deceased, and statuettes of minor personages in some act 
of useful service. The portrait statue was to furnish a 
support for the double ; and the closest likeness to the 
deceased was sought. This tended to keep such statues 
lifelike, and the best must have been the counterpart of 
the living man. On the other hand, the endeavor effec- 
tively to represent the act engaged in kept lifelike the 
ancillary statuettes. Both classes contain works of striking 
excellence.' 

' Of all Egyptian paintings none are more topical than the battle pictures 
of the New Empire. There is little variety in them. Erect in his chariot 
the giant pharaoh advances through his pigmy enemies, who in absurd per- 
tpeccif e and impossible positions tumble over each other in their flight. Vet 
the ptctiux conveys the main idea : that of the superhuman force and majesty 
of pharaoh. 

' For example, the famous Mated scribe in the Louvre and the wooden 
suine at Cairo and a number of statuettes at Cairo. 



3« 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



The likeness to the deceased sought in the portrait 
statues precluded idealizing of form or feature. Yet 
since the pharaoh was a different being from his subjects, 
that difference must be shown. Soon were his statues 
made colossal, a material way of expressing his superi- 
ority. But the artists also endeavored to give these 
statues dignity. It might be that the skill of man, work- 
ing in diorite and granite, which were the royal stones, 
reached not to the lifelike delineation of each feature of 
the pharaoh's face. But then the pharaoh was high and 
lifted up, a god in flesh ; mortal eye shall look beneath 
the incident and see the real unending life and power 
divine; the artist must render that, as he did in the leo- 
nine calm of Khaphra's statue from the Sphinx's temple. 
In the end, however, the endeavor (or the ideal pharaoh- 
type, both in painting and colossal statues, weakened to 
mere conservation of forms perhaps become hieratic. 

It was in statues and drawings of the pharaohs that 
Egyptian art touched endeavor for the beautiful, reaching 
towards a conscious selection of the better, the more per- 
fect, rather than the less; yet it was held down by blind 
conservatism and failure to perceive that bulk is not dig- 
nity nor hardest stone immortal life. Indeed, the sar- 
donic element in Eg>'ptian art was its misdirection, that 
with massive structures and colossal statues it thought to 
insure man's life beyond the grave. 



As far back as the monuments of lower Mesopotamia 
reach, they tell of Semitic people occupying Babylonia, 
and another race duelling towards its southern 
McBopota- sea-borders, the ** black-head " people of Sumcr 
Culture. *"^ Accad. In culture, and apparently in pos- 
session of the soil, the Sumerian-Accadians 
were prior, and the spectacle presented from the first is 
that of the Semites pressing in, politically predominant, 
absorbing the greater culture of the prior race. Baby- 
lonia affords the earliest example of that principle of 



EGYPT, CHALDMA, AND CHINA. 



33 



progress, human or divine, which distinguishes the wars 
of ancient men from the preying of brutes upon each 
other : when a fresher, stronger race subdues one more 
advanced in knowledge and the arts, it acquires the civili- 
zation of the conquered. 

The names are known of many early Mesopotamian 
kings and of their cities; their racehood, epochs, and 
political relations remain largely surmise. Wide-reaching 
would appear to have been the dominion of the ancient 
Sargon of Accad and his son.' Fifteen centuries later, 
the great King Hammurabi,' of the first dynasty to rcign 
at Babylon, subjected all Chaldsea to his sway. He was a 
protector and a benefactor to the conquered southern 
lands, a constructor of canals, and a restorer of temples. 
From his inscriptions it appears that in Chaldxa benefi- 
cence was expected of a king, as in the Egypt of the 
Middle Empire. "As Anu and Bel granted to me to 
subject the people of Sumer and Accad, I dug the canal 
•Hammurabi is the people's blessing,' which carries water 
of the inundation for the people of Sumer and Accad. 
Its banks on both sides I set for nourishment. Measures 
of com I poured out. Unfailing water I created for the 
J people of Sumer and Accad ; I brought their multitudes 
together, I created food and drink for them. With bless- 
ing and abundance I presented them ; I let them dwell in 
quiet dwellings."" Under Hammurabi and his successors 
the union of Sumerian culture with the stronger Semitic 
spirit was completed, and hymns and myths and legends 
were given literary form.' 

An ancient Sumerian god was Ea. He was worshipped 
as the demiurge, but wider was his fame and divine sig- 

*38oo B.c. r 
•b.c 2364-2210. 

* Wlncklcr, Gtichickit Ba^ylamtHi, p, 64. 

* In lu^ part the old Somcrian thought fnmislietl the contents of these 
writings; but the living language of Babylon, in which the genius of the 
time was Bnding natural expression, was a tiemidc totigue doseljr aUIed to 
tfie Assyria D. 

vol. L— J 



34 



ANCIE//T IDEALS, 



nificance as the wise sea-god, who civilized the people of 
Sumcr-Accad.' Ea stood for the Sumcrian consciousness 
of the worth of civilization and the knowledge whereby 
man guards his life and gains his ends. In accord with 
this consciousness the people of Sumcr-Accad had devel- 
oped the arts and faculties of settled life, together with a 
mass of knowledge real and fanciful ; and they delivered 
all that they had gained to the like-minded yet more 
masterful race which 'w^s making Babylon the dominant 
centre of a national life. The latter people added further 
attainments to their heritage, till they could read the 
heavens, the times and seasons of the earth, and the pre- 
sageful flight of birds. Along the paths of foolishness 
comes knowledge. Babylonian astrologj' held some 
knowledge of astronomy and mathematics, out of which 
the ancient world should draw, as it also drew from Baby- 
lonian foolishness.* In all the elements of material civil- 
ization Babylon was to be pre-eminent for two thousand 
years ; a swarming centre of industrial and social life, and 
the focus of the commerce of the ancient world. Her 
merchants were princes. In later times Babylonia was 
the richest province of the Persian Empire, and later still, 
at Rome, Babylonian vestures fetched their weight in 
gold, and Babylonian numbers still disclosed the future. 
For all uf which the fame of Babylon has never faded. 
The matter of chief human interest is the strength and 
practical intelligence of toil which created this civilisation, 
and sustained it amid the push and tumult of invading 
arms for twenty centuries. 

Toil's peace and comfort lie in the assurance of result. 
Perhaps because of the land's security, and the certain 
recurrence of Nile inundation and propitious seasons, the 
Egyptians rarely felt the bitterness of the labor which 

* The story of Eb (Ounes) coming otit tA ^ Percian Golf to dviliie men 
is handed down from Berofitu in extremely antique guise. See C-oty'a 
Aneimt Fragmemts. p. 57, 

' Se« ijt Di^nnatian et U Stietue dta Prtsagti tkt* lit CkaU/emj, Fr. 
LcDonnaat ; Die Kotmohgie der B^fylamitrt F. Jetuen. 



EGYPT, CHALDjEA, AND CHINA. 



35 



may end in nought. But life was not secure in Chaldxa, 
for enemies were never far ; nor was the land healthful 
as Egypt; the plague demon was more fre- sombre- 
quently to fear. So the Chaldaean view of aes« of 
life lacked the Egyptian calm. Sombre and full Babylonuui 
of terror is the Gilgames epic,' which forms Thought. 
Chaldaea's heroic background. Its plot turns on a goddess' 
hate; its twelve tablets are filled with dreadful labors 
undergone, uncouth struggles with monstrous brutes and 
demi-men, weird voyagings to be cleansed from foul dis- 
ease, and fruitless questings of the Tree of Life. It 
closes darkly with burial chant and hideous suggestion of 
the underworld : " Tell, my friend, tell, my friend, open 
the earth." " I cannot tell thee, my friend, I cannot tell 
thee ; if I should open the earth to thee, terror and weep- 
ing would overcome thee, thou wouldst faint away." So 
is life a thing of toil, and painful toil ; it must encounter 
perils and overcome or escape them ; yet is it run to 
earth at last. It was fitting that this epic should contain 
the story of the Deluge ; the thought of destruction from 
the gods was very native to Chald^ea. 

The people of Sumer-Accad and the later dwellers at 
Babylon were very fearful of the world without. The 
spirits were malevolent, the great gods were -^^ incan- 
often angry. From the earliest times, when tation and 
the Chaldsean conscience was still unawakened, the Sense 
there is reflected fear of evils threatening and °^ ^'°* 
falling upon man. Blind and arbitrary is the way of the 
powers without till a moral nature be ascribed to them. 
In time there came the thought that the great gods 
might be benign and merciful ; and since evils ceased not 
to come on men, there dawned a sense of shortcoming, 
sin, and penitence. 

The early Babylonian incantation was full of fear. 
Troubles which came were cither the onslaughts of foes 

' For translfttions, see Smith's Ckaldaan Account of Gencns, Sayce's Ed.; 
Jereniias* /«/wA»r-AVwirtfrf/ SsuvcpUne, Un* &p^t BafyioMtcnn* ; Mas- 
pero, D«wm of dviUtatwn^ p. 574. etc. 



36 



ANClEr^T IDEALS, 



or the diseases and accidents of life. Pain and ill seemed 
to come from beings outside the man, and should be 
warded off by incantation aiding practical exertion. But 
magic sought to move solely the other, the cxtraliuman, 
superhuman being: it did not contemplate betterment 
of the man himself ; for it was conscious of no human 
shortcoming. But a sense of sin is a sense of shortcom- 
ing in the man ; it presupposes the standard of the ways, 
the power, the nature, or the character of the man's god, 
his lord whom he must obey, whom he displeases at his 
periL It means that religious thought has reached a cer- 
tain stage of clearness. A savage with his fetish, his 
totem, his sorceries and incantations, can have no sense 
of sin ; for he has no sufficiently clear standard to give 
rise to any sense of shortcoming in himself. Hence, con- 
sciousness of sin means dawning ideality ; means that man 
conceives what, according to his ethical standards, is bet- 
ter than himself. And as his nature rises and expands, 
he must conceive his god as just and mighty. 

Thus, as it would seem, man's early knowledge of life's 
pains and ills, and life's destruction, turned with the 
Babylonians to the thought that all was not right in the 
sufferer ; that his ills were not altogether to be ascribed 
to arbitrarily malignant forces, but also related to some 
shortcoming in himself. With these advancing thoughts 
regarding human ills, the powers of the world without 
took on a nobler form ; no longer altogether brute, malig- 
nant, arbitrary, but rather adjudged to be superior where- 
evcr man felt himself wanting. So. when ills threatened 
men or came on them, when aid was needed or protection, 
instead of using magic rite and spell, men addressed 
themselves to their higher gods in prayer and worship, 
in confession of themselves, what they were and were 
not, so in penitence. They implore deliverance or aid, 
not only from the power and favor, but from the mercy 
of their god. Yet though the Babylonians came thus to 
address their gods in prayer, they did not expand their 



EGYPT, CHALD^A, A^'D CHINA. 



37 



thought of prayer's efficiency to the exclusion of the use 
of magic. Spells still constituted means of protection 
against malignant powers ; and the strongest spells might 
consist in conjuring with the names of the mightier gods. 
So the gods are frequently conjured with rather than 
prayed to. Finally the worshippers indeed ascribe all 
power to the god who fills their vision at the time ; but 
no conception of a god in Babylon or Nineveh rose to such 
high power of consistency as to dispel all thought of other 
gods. Of Semitic peoples, Israel alone reached monothe- 
ism : and accordingly only in Israel were magic ritcsabomi- 
natcd, and reliance placed — at least by Israel's true leaders 
— solely on penitence and prayer and God's forgiveness. 

There is a quality which men feeling their sins must 
soon attribute to their god, whose nature they should re- 
semble and do not, whose commands they should obey, 
and do not, the quality of mercy, whereby the god does 
not destroy, but forgives. Races with no abiding sense 
of sin do not emphasize this quality in their gods, 
who rather are beneficent freely or in return for sac- 
rifice, and it may be just.' But a sense of sin looks 
for mercy, and hence Babylonians and merciless Assyrians 
ascribed it to their gods. Perhaps a step beyond the 
quality of mercy and forgiveness on repentance is that of 
unsolicited pity, which also is a quality of Babylonian 
and Assyrian gods. Mcrodach is spoken of as the " mer- 
ciful lord who loves to raise the dead to life.'" In Ishtar's 
Descent that goddess weeps over human lots, as, in the 
story of the Deluge she leads the gods in lament over 
the destruction of mankind. 

Babylonian hymns were largely magic, their recital 

accompanying the magic ritual. A hymn often "M«|^c 

passes from lofty thought to merest incanta-,„ ^**'»" 

. , , ,, . /^ . . ^ 1 , "Hymn'*and 

Uon ; as m the foUowmg (Semitic) hymn to the •• Pcniten- 

Sun-god: tialPMlm." 

* Neither Egjrptiansnnr Greeks nor Romans laid empliasu on thuqaality. 

• Saycc, Hib. LccL. 1887. p. 98. 



38 ANCIENT IDEALS^ 

"O Sun-god, king of heaven and earth, . . . 
Thou that clothest the dead with life, delivered by thy hands, 
Judge unbribcd, director of mankind. 

O bird stand still and hear the hound ! 

O Sun-god stand still and hear me ! 

Overpower the name of the evil ban that has been created. 

Whether the ban of my father, or the ban of nay begetter, or 

The ban of the seven branches of the house of my 

father. . . . 
For father and mother I pronounce the spell ; 
And for brother and child, I pronounce the spell. ...*** 

A mixture of contrite or fearful thought and magic spell 
also appears in certain compositions of the nature of peni- 
tential Psalms : 

The heart of my lord is wroth ; may it be appeased ! 
May the god whom I know not be appeased ! 
May the goddess whom I know not be appeased I 
[repetitions similar] 

The sin that (I sinned I) knew not, 

The cursed thing of my god unknowingly did I eat ; 
The cursed thing of my goddess unknowingly did I trample 
on. 

my god, my sins are many, my transgressions are great. 

[repetitions similar] 
• •••••• 

The cursed thing that I trampled on, I knew not. 

The god whom I know and whom I know not has distressed me. 

1 sought for help and none took my hand ; 
I wept and none stood at my side ; 
I cried aloud and there was none that heard me. 
I am in trouble and hiding ; 1 dare not look up. 
To my god, the merciful one, I turn myself, I utter my prayer. 

' S»yct, I*., p. 3». 



EGYPT, CffALD^A, AND CHWA. 39 

be transgressions I have committed may the wind cony away ! 

my god, seven times seven are my transgressions ; forgive 
my sins. 

Cay thy ban be removed. 

• ■ t • • I . 

Colophon, — Psalm of 65 lines ; a tablet for every god. 
Its repetition insures roy peace." * 

The above " psalm " is preserved in Accadtan with an 

Assyrian interlinear translation. We may pass Assurbani- 

two thousand years or more to a P^yer **** '^J*^^ 

■of Assurbanipal and the inscription of Ne- Nebachad- 

buchadnezzar. !o,«?ptf<;^! 

' I confess to thee, Nebo, in the assembly of the great gods 

I prostrate myself at the feet of Nebo ... in the multi- 
tude of my sins, 

I will cause thee to live, Assurbanipal, even I, Nebo, to ever- 
lasting days ; 

Thy feet shall not be weary, thy hands shall not tremble, 

Thc»e thy lips shall not fail for praying to me. 

• ■•■••• 

lowing down in his sanctuary, 

Assurbanipal made his prayer to Nebo, his Lord : 

X have given myself unto thee, Nebo, 
Thou wilt not forsake me. 

3tly life in thy presence is governed, my soul is held in the 
embrace of Beltis. 

3 have given myself unto thee, Nebo, mighty one, 

Thou wilt not forsake me in the midst of my sins. 
Thy sins, Assurbanipal, like ripples on the face of the water 

shall they be. 
Thou shalt stand in the presence of the great gods ; thou shalt 

magnify Nebo." ' 

• Sayce, i^.. p. 349. See also Proceedings ef Sodefy of BiilUal Arcka- 
''■^■jy. J895. p. 139- 

'^Raerds of the Past, N. S., toL vl, p. 108. 



40 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



Not many decades after the Assyrian king's death, 
though in the meanwhile Nineveh had fallen, was written 
Nebuchadnezzar's inscription. It begins : 

"Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, the king exalted, 
the favorite of Merodach, the pontiff supreme, the be- 
loved of Nebo, the serene, the possessor of wisdom, who 
in the way of their godhead regardeth, who feareth their 
lordship; the servant unwearied, who for the main- 
tenance of Esagilla and Egida [chief temples of Babylon 
and Borsippa] daily bethought him, and the weal of 
Babylon and Borsippa regardeth ever; the wise, the pray- 
erful, the chiefcst son of Nebopolassar, King of Babylon 
am I. After that the Lord my God had created me, that 
Merodach had framed the creature in the mother ; when 
I was bom, when I was created, even I, the holy places of 
the god I regarded, the way of the god I walked in. Of 
Merodach, the great lord, the god, my creator, his cun- 
ning works highly do I extol. Of Nebo, his true son, 
the beloved of my majesty, the way of his supreme god- 
head steadfastly do I exalt ; with all my true heart I love 
the fear of their godhead, 1 worship their lordship. 
When Merodach, the great lord, lifted up the head of my 
majesty, and with lordship over the multitude of peoples 
invested me, and Nebo, the overseer of the multitude of 
heaven and earth, for the governing of the peoples a 
righteous sceptre placed in my hands : for me, of them 
am I heedful. I have regard unto their godhead ; for the 
mention of their glorious name, I worship the god and 
Ishtar. To Merodach. my lord, I made supplication, 
prayer to him I undertook, and the word which my heart 
looked for, to him I spake : * Of old, O prince, lord of all 
that is, for the king whom thou lovest, and whose name 
thou callest, that to thee is pleasing : thou directest his 
name, a straight path thou appointest him. I am a prince 
obedient unto thee, a creature of thy hands. Thou it 
was that madest me, and with sovereignty over the multi- 
tude of the peoples thou didst invest me ; according to 



SGYPT, CHALDjEA, AND CHINA. 



41 



thy goodness, Lord, wherewith thou crownest all of 
them. Make loving thy supreme lordship and cause the 
fear of thy godhead to be in my heart. . . . Like as 
I love the fear of thy godhead, and seek unto thy lord- 
ship, favorably regard the lifting up of my hands, hear 
my prayers.' " ' 

Assurbanipal's prayer discloses a sense of sin, and he 
casts himself upon his god's forgiveness, doubtless in a 
time of distress. Nebuchadnezzar recognizes his relation 
of creature and minister to Merodach ; he knows that Me- 
rodach and Nebo have placed a righteous sceptre in his 
hands'; he desires to be obedient, that they may bcgra- 
cious, and he " loves the fear of their godhead." When 
>vords like these are used, it still remains to determine 
what significance the speaker attaches to them. The con- 
ception of religion as an alliance between god and man 
p against other peoples and their gods, never ceased in Meso- 
Ipotamia. A late Assyrian king needed rather the forgive- 
' ness of all the earth, than of the god who had marched with 
Assur and Ishtar at the head of Assyria's armies. Yet 
according to his standards, Assurbanipal professes to have 
sinned and to need forgiveness. What Nebuchadnezzar 
meant by " righteous " must be inferred from his acts 
and from his satisfaction with his long reign. Undoubt- 
edly, he wishes to obey, he looks unto his god, will regu- 
late himself by that god's standard ; and whatever he 
may mean by the word " love," he approaches the Hebrew 
psalmist and prophet when he asserts that he loves the 
fear of Merodach his creator. Such prayers seem far re- 
moved from magic incantation ; yet Assurbanipal's library 
preserves the one and the other with the same reverent 
care. Far be it from him to have risen above presages and 
divination, or above the spells which ward off various ills. 



' Jietardt cf tke Past. N. S., vol. iii, pp. 104-106, 123. 

' The ibougbt of « sceptre of righteousness or " sceptre of ifie templet" 
BUy be u old as tSoo u.C. 9*s^ BrQnnow, ZiiUckri/t fUr AisyriiUo^, 
1G90, p. 70 ; BoscswcD, BihU and the MonumenU, p. 33. 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



The conception of sin ts the matter of main human 
interest in the religion of Babylonia, which in other 
respects was sufHciently archaic. So is it in 
a^Chal- *^*^ Assyrian religion which in somewhat stricter 
djuns Intei-grooves followed its elder sister. That neither 
lectually Babylonians nor Assyrians perceived any in- 
Unde- compatibility between magic and prayer is one 

clement placing them on the same intellectual 
level with the Egyptians. The material accomplishment 
of these races was stupendous ; nor did either lack in 
manifold development of custom and social institution. 
The Egyptians occupied themselves with varied toil and 
diversion. Babylon, with its commerce, its banking- 
houses, its loans and pledges^ its developed contract law, 
may arouse astonishment. Not because of any lack in the 
bulky composite of common life were these two races what 
they were, primitive always ; but through lack of consist- 
ently progressive thought respecting the human spirit ; 
and through lack in consequence of the definite formula- 
tion of ideals suited to the higher discriminations of man's 
nature. Egyptians and Babylonians remained undevel- 
oped in the intellectual and spiritual elements of person- 
ality ; nor in these respects did the Assyrians show 
advance. 

They were a Semitic people who had established 
themselves in northern Mesopotamia before the fifteenth 
A«»Triaii c^"t"^. s.c. They took to themselves the lit- 
Rudimen- erature, the arts, and the religion of the south. 
t»ry Hu- As a military power, they fixed themselves in 
°*°**' their land and set their cities ; with arras they 
conquered, and with arms they held the empire of western 
Asia ; and when their military might was broken, they 
and their cities ceased. 

Human personality grows as men perceive that only in 
correlation with the welfare of others can they fulfil 
themselves. This is early recognized within family and 
tribal circles ; the far goal is its recognition as to all man- 



EGYPT, CHALDMA, AND CfflNA, 



land. It is evident that a race entirely occupied with slay- 
ing other people and seizing their possessions has but 
a rudimentary humanitj', a narrow ethics, a narrow 
religion. The latter has not passed beyond the stage 
where the god is conceived as the ally, who crushes the 
common foe. The god may become, however, an exact- 
ing ally, who will not aid his own except they punctili- 
ously minister to him ; nay more, it may be will not help 
them unless they maintain themselves at the standard of 
his excellence ; and in correspondence with this thought, 
overthrow or ill-success may rouse in the race a sense of 
shortcoming and of sin, Assyria might order her pan- 
theon more scrupulously than did the Babylonians ; she 
might restrict her devotions to a few mighty gods ; and 
bitterly was she in the end to feel how she had fallen 
below the standard of their excellence of power. But 
never did she pass beyond the ethics and religion of the 
race which smites and spares not. 

This may be clearly read in those records of war, rapine, 
and ruin, and of war's diplomacy, which constitute the 
annals of the Tiglathpalesers, of Assumozirpal, of Sar- 
gon and Sennacherib, and of Assurbanipal, the last great 
monarch. Under a near successor, Nineveh went down 
in night, leaving no trace on earth,' or record of her ruin. 
Two or three broken tablets seem to refer to the time of 
destruction ; they speak darkly of Medes and Cimmerians, 
proclaim propitiatory rites to be observed for a hundred 
days, and preserve the fragment of a prayer,—" O great 
god of fixed destiny, remove our sin ! " ' — then silence. 
Writings of the Greeks throw but a faint gleam on the 
fate of the empire of blood, while the Jew cries out his 
fierce prophetic hate over her ruin. For indeed, " upon 
whom had not her wickedness passed continually? " ' 

* Xenophon, two bundred years after, while Babylon was sliU a great 
city, uw and heard nothing of Ninereh. 

* See texts relating to the fall of the Assyiiao Empire, vol. id, Rteords p/ 
ihc Patt, p. 79. 

* Nabum. 



44 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



There must have been domestic life in Assyria, thoug 
it was not thought worth recording. The extant monu- 
ments are from the royal palaces. There is 
Shown iQ enough of bas-relief and inscription, but it is all 
j^ record and illustration of the story of Assyria's 

well-organized might, her rapacity, destructivc- 
ncss, and unique delight in cruelty. Bas-relief and inscrip- 
tion alike tell of the king and his royal strength ; they tcU 
of his officers and state and armies, his chariots and horse- 
men and bowmen going forth to war ; they tell of crossing 
deserts, fording rivers, climbing mountains, in pursuit of 
enemies; they tell of the devastation of the land, the 
cutting down of palm-trees, the besieging and the tearing 
down of cities ; they tell of the Assyrian victories, pyra- 
mids of heads and trunks, prisoners impaled or flayed, 
burned alive or blinded. The king himself is seen thrust- 
ing his spear into the eyes of men held by hooks through 
their lips. So they show all manner of torture of van- 
quished men, and then the long trains of spoil, beasts of 
all kinds, and women, and the wealth of lands, driven or 
carried off to glut Assyria's palaces and temples. 

There is power in Assyrian sculpture, even a calm 
strength in the winged bulls. But the 6gurcs in the bas- 
reliefs arc usually in violent motion badly drawn. Two 
prominent types appear, the bearded monarch and the 
beardless eunuch, both drawn with over-heavy muscle. 
These types vary slightly from reign to reign, but the 
sculptor docs not seek to individualize the features. The 
Assyrians had the Semitic disUke of the uncovered body, 
and there is no fine modelling of the human form. The 
only naked figures arc those of men impaled on stakes or 
flayed. The best Assyrian works are the reliefs of ani- 
mals, dogs or horses, or the hunted beasts, especially the 
Uons transfixed with arrows.* 

' Ereiy one knows the splendid Wouiuled lioness, (rom Assurbani pal's 
palace, in the Assyrian Basement of the British Moscom. An arroir has 
pierced her back ; with a niajnrcULXisljr rendered snarl uf rage, &he dra^ her 
pormlyicd hindquarters forwArd tn a death ktru^le to reach her foe. 




EGYPT, CfTALD^A, AND CHJNA. 

The battle scenes are failures of composition ; they are 
panoramic, with neither perspective nor centring of in- 
terest. Except for the accompanying text, it might be 
difficult to distinguish the main characters in the 6ght. 
Clearly, whatever adaptation there may be of means to 
ends in Assyrian art, the higher qualities of human intel- 
lect are absent more strikingly than from the art of Egypt. 
Those qualities had not been shown in the dreary waste 
of Kabylonian writings, and the Assyrians had no litera- 
ture of their own. The library of Assurbanipal contains 
only reproductions of Babylonian magic, astrology, science, 
and religion ; largely, indeed, interlinear translations of 
Sumerian or Accadian texts. In this scribe activity, there 
was no new creation.' 

If the "black-haired" people who became Chinese 
ever came from Mesopotamian lands,' their travels 
across Asia dispelled Chalda:an vapors, for chine« 
ihey were not possessed with the vampire spirit Character- 
of superstitious fear which overhung the land istics aad 
of Sumcr and Accad ; nor had they the Se- 'heEarly 
mite's sense of sin. They had, however, a 
mighty power of industry with extraordinary capacity for 
being governed as a national aggregate. Their most 
marked superiority over Babylon and Egj'pt was the fac- 
ulty of ethical formulation. They related rules of con- 
duct to fundamental principle, constructed a system of 
ethics, and set before themselves an ideal of character 
expressing itself in conduct. Under the inspiration of 
this idea!, the history of China was written ; for it formed 
a standard of remembrance by which certain aspects of 
(act and story should be preserved, others forgotten ; and 
it was this same ideal which Confucius and his school, 
who stand for China's very self, formally systematized. 

' See Winckler, Geschiehu Babylemfns, etc., pp. 300-302. 

' See TerricD de U Couperie, iVeslfrn Ons^in of Early Chintu CivititO' 
Am; C. J. BaJl, " Accadian AffioitJes of Chinese," Trans., Ninth Congnss 
»f Oritntalists (1B9I). ij, p. 677. 



46 



AtfCIENT IDEALS, 



Thus is It peculiarly enlightening as to the ideals c 
to notice the records which the race kept of itself. 

Yao is the first emperor told of in the Shu King, the 
ancient canonical collection of historical memoriab.' He 
was reverential, accomplished, thoughtful, and courteous.* 
He adjusted the calendar, regulated agriculture, and 
"united and harmonized the myriad states; and so the 
black-haired people were transformed. The result was 
concord.'"' Yao, growing old, ^nshed to nominate the 
chief councillor as his successor. The latter declared his 
virtue unequal to the ruling of the realm, and told of one 
Shun, whose father, step-mother, and half-brother, with 
whom he lived, were bad and quarrelsome ; yet by his 
filial piety Shun had lived harmoniously with them, and 
led them to mend their ways. *' I will try him." said 
Yao. **I will wive him, and thereby see his behavior 
with my two daughters." * 

Shun, married to the emperor's daughters, displayed a 
completely virtuous character. He was thereupon made 
General Regulator, and after three years, in spite of his 
modest reluctance, was named emperor by Yao. As 
ruler he was irreproachable, conducting the appropriate 
sacrifices, regulating ceremonies, weights and measures, 
and punishments. " Let me be reverent," said Shun, " let 
compassion rule in punishment."* A great organizer was 
Shun, forming many departments and setting tried min- 
isters over them. 

The great Yu had been Shun's General Regulator. 
When he had set in order the provinces, he said, in rev- 
erent response to the Emperor: "If the sovereign can 
realize the difficulty of his sovereignty, and the minister 

' It U Ir&Dslalcd b; Dr. Legge In hU Chinat Ciastitt aad (« rcriscd edi- 
tion) in vol. iii, SatrtJ Books of tht East. 

* Shu A'img, i. I. 

■ SAm Kimg, i. I, from Dr. L«gge's revised translation in Satrtd B^At 
tf tkt East, vol. iii. 

« SAm King, I. 3. 

' SJku King, ii, I. 



£cypr, a/ALDyEA, Ar^D china. 



47 



Its Moral. 



the difficulty of his ministry, the government will be well 
ordered, and the black-haired people will sedulously seek 
to be virtuous." ' Yu overcame the great inundation ; he 
opened passages for the streams, drained the lands, sow- 
ing grain and teaching the people. Shun knows him for 
his true successor, and so calls him to rule. Yu would 
decline in favor of the Minister of Crime, who on his part 
will hear only of Yu. Shun, too, is set in his determina- 
tion, telling Yu that he excels all in ability and merit. 
" The determinate appointment of heaven rests on your 
person." " 

"The favor of Heaven is not easily preserved. Men 
lose its favoring appointment because they cannot carry 
out the reverence and virtue of their fore- 
fathers." ' To a dynasty, Heaven's high com- 
mission is during good behavior; when its rule becomes 
bad, it ceases to be legitimate. The recurrent fact with 
mighty moral in the Shu King is that ruin overtakes a 
dynasty grown evil^ and, as commissioned by Heaven, 
the founder of the new dynasty overthrows it. Let his 
descendants revere his ways. Throughout the Shu King 
the virtue of reverence is inculcated, reverence for Heaven, 
reverence for the people, reverence for ancestors and 
they* customs. It meant the due performance of every 
duty and the fitting observance of every ceremony and 
propriety. 

The teachings of Confucius and his followers represent 

' Shu King, ii, z. 

* The great V'u was the founder of the Hsia dynaisty. which came to an 
end aboot 1766 b. c. Regarding the truth of the^e narration*;, l.egge says : 
" The results which I have endeavored to bring otit in this chapter are, 
fint, that Ya is an historical personage and was the founder of the Chinese 
Eropiie, but that nearly all Uiat the Shu contains of his labors is fantasti- 
cal exaggeration ; and second, thnt Yao and Shwn were also real men, 
chiefs of the eailicst Chinese immigrants into the countr)', but wc must 

St them of the grand proportions which Ihcy have, %i. seen through the 
\ of legend and of philosophical romance." — Prolegomeot to the Sku 
King. p. So. 

• Shu King, part v, book xv, I. 



48 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



Confucijuilsm. 



a system made from the best elements of China's past as 
mirrored in its records and traditionary 
" usages and reflected in the life of Confucius 
himself.' The master was a transmitter, but not of dis-j 
connected facts with unrelated significance ; he sought to! 
learn a unity all-pervading.' His teachings are a system! 
holding as an ideal the perfecting of character in modesj 
of conduct accordant with the nature of man confcrredj 
by Heaven. 

" What Heaven has conferred is called the nature. An ' 
accordance with this nature is called the Path of Duty. 
The regulation of this path is called the Sys> 
tern of Instruction.*' ' Evidently the nature 
j^QQ^gj^gj .. which Heaven has conferred on man would 
bear some likeness to its source, whose way it 
is to duly recompense, and would include the benevolent 
faculties, the works of which Heaven prospers and rewards. 
Hence might Confucius say: Benevolence is man.* Also, 
should it not be germane to man's nature to reverence 
and fulfil the relationships and duties ordained by 
Heaven?* Very exacting are these relationships, of ruler 
and minister, son and father, wife and husband, elder 
brother and younger, friend and friend.' So can the 
master say with definite meaning: " Fidelity to one's self 
and the corresponding reciprocity are not far from the 



' The best undentaniliDg of Confttdus mmy be had from reading his life 
and safiogs in the Lun Yu, trnnslnted by Dr. I.egge in his Ckintst CiasHtit 
vol, i (second edition. 1893). Confucius was bom 551 b.c. 

* Lum Yu, XV, 2. 

^ Kmng Yunf, !, I. This treatise (onus book xxvili of the Li JCi, 
but is often printed setMiratcly. U is Ibe most authentic compend of Con- 
fucius* teachings. See Leggc's " Introduction to U Ki," vol. xxrii, 
Saerrd Bcokt of the Eatt. 

* Kyng Yung, \i, fi Mencios afterwards stated more explicitly the doc- ■ 
triue here involved, that men are by nature good. See Mendus, book vi,| 
I, 6. *' The great man ia he who does not lose hia child's hftait." — lUd.^ 
W. ii, !». 

*Sec Shu KiHff, ii, iii, 5. 

* See A'ung Ymmg, i. 35 ; il, 9. 



EGYPT, CHALD^A, AXD CfflfTA. 



^ 



path. What you do not like when done to yourself, do 
not do to others." ' You would not, when yourself con- 
cerned, like to have others fail in the fulfilment of the 
duties of these relationships : do not you fail in their 
fulfilment. 

Man's nature and the Path which is accordance there- 
with are set forth as the State of Equilibrium and Har- 
mony. "When there are no stirrings of 
pleasure, anger, sorrow, or joy, we call it the State of 
State of Equilibrium. When those feelings Equilibnum 
have been stirred, and all in their due measure HarmonT. 
and degree, we call it the State of Harmony. 
This Equilibrium is the great root, and this Harmony is 
the universal path.'" All men should observe in feeling, 
thought, and correspondent action exactly what the pro- 
prieties of the situation demand, fulfil its requirements, 
tior exceed them. "The superior man does what is 
proper to the position in which he is; he does not wish 
to go beyond it.'*' This principle of propriety of con- 
duct combines with the idea of reciprocity. Confucius 
"xvas asked whether injury should be recompensed with 
l<indncss. He answered: "With what, then, will you 
recompense kindness? Recompense injury with justice, 
and recompense kindness with kindness." * 

Thus, excellence is fundamentally a matter of man's 
inner nature forming itself in character; the fruit of this 
character is unfailing propriety of conduct. 

The former of these principles was carried out T''* ^**"^ , 
, „ _, . , Propriety of 

consistently: "The superior man, even when ch*r*cter. 

lie is not acting, has the feeling of reverence ; 
and when he docs not speak, he has the feeling of truth- 
fulness.*" From the formalistic tendencies of the 
Chinese, rules of conduct before Confucius* time had be- 
come rules of propriety and ceremonial usages. In hcart- 



^Kun^ Ymh^, i, 3a. 
^ KuM^ Yung, i, 5. 



VOL I— 4 



*iCung YuHg. i, 36. 
* Lmh Yh, xiv, 36, 
'See JCmn^ y*"*8> "i ^t 63> ^' 



50 



ASCiENT IDEALS. 



Filial Piety. 



felt earnestness, he sought to conform his life to them,' 
feeling them to be expressive of universal propriety and 
adapted to establish a perfect character." They were the 
visible frame of the State of Equilibrium and Harmony, 
a frame which might not be departed from.' By them 
the ancient kings sought to present the ways of Heaven 
and regulate humanity.' They are the bond holding the 
multitude together ; they check depravity. Every act of 
Iife» every act of intercourse among the living or between 
the living and the dead, should conform to them/ 

The Chinese have always thought that to hold office 
under the government is the goal and highest excellence 
of human careers.' Yet government, in which 
not all men can take part, has its prototype in 
the family ; and all men are sons, and alt wish to become 
fathers. That a man should leave father and mother and 
cleave unto his wife is a progressive principle which hands 
life on, rather than endeavors to repay it to the past. It 
is the opposite of everything Chinese. In Confucian 
China the vital principle of the family was to be the rela- 
tionship of parents and children,* rather than that of man 
and wife; and the pre-eminent virtue of the land was to 
be filial piety. This virtue includes all duties, social and 
political ; it binds the family together, and forms the basis 
of government." The master said : " The laying the 

»C/. Imh Yu,xr, 17. 
■Xuw Yu, Yiii. 8. 

* C/. Lun Yu, Yiii, 3. 

* Li A'l, Tii. i, 4. 

* Cf. Lun Yu, X, a, 5, 9, 16. A eoocepdon of the enormoiu Import of 
ceremonies uitt stnct propnetjr in Chinese thought may be had from the 
Li /it, or " Collection of Trestises on the Kules of Propriety and Cere- 
nonia] Usages.*' perhaps the most characteristic work in Chinese lite ratur e. 
It is one of the five " King," or classics, and is trmoslated by Dr. "V-e^se in 
Tola, xxvii and ainriii, Saereti Baekt ef Ou East. 

' See t. g. McnctBS, hook iii, part it, chap. iH. 
^ See e. g. Li A'i, xli, i . 

■The father's power has always been and ttia is tutocratlc. See F. 
Scherter, La Puitsofui PaUrmtUt <n Chim. 




EGYPT, CHALDjSA, AXD CHmA. 



SI 



foundation of [all] love in the love of parents teaches 
people reverence.'" " Filial piety is the root of all 
virtue."' 

Besides direct ethical instruction and example, with 
teaching of the rites and ceremonies, the system of Con- 
fucius sought to use subtler instruments for the Confucian 
perfecting of that character which should dis- Conception 
play itself in unfailing propriety of conduct, of Poetry 
These were poetry and music. In the Shu *"'' Muiic 
King^ the Emperor Shun appoints a Director of Music 
"to teach our sons, so that the straightforward shall yet 
be mild ; the gentle, dignified ; the strong, not tyranni- 
cal ; and the impetuous, not arrogant." This is the 
ancient statement. Says Confucius: " It is by the Odes 
that the mind is aroused. It is by the rules of propriety 
that the character is established. It is from music that 
the finish is received." ' 

When Confucius urged his disciples to study the Odes 
of the Shik King* he urged them to study what was a 
collection of ancient poems, written at various epochs, 
prosperous or disastrous, virtuous or licentious, of the 
people's history. These, in the view of Confucian com- 
mentators, express sentiments appropriate to the condi- 
tions under which they were composed. They are duly 
joyful over righteous prosperity, duly resentful at dis- 
order, duly mournful over disaster. That is to say, they 
are moral or, in more Chinese phrase, correct.' Odes stir 
the feelings of the hearers, and, if correct, rouse the feel- 
ings aright, all in due measure and proportion, — the State 
of Harmony. This is the function of poctr>', correspond- 
ing to its nature. As is said in the "Great Preface": 
" Poetry is the product of earnest thought. Thought 
[cherished] in the mind becomes earnest ; exhibited in 
words, it becomes poetry. The feelings move inwardly, 



^ LiKi,-x3:\, i. 15. 
' Hsiac JCing, chap, t. 
»II.i.5. 



*Ltm yw, viii, 8, 
' Lun Vu, xvii, 9. 
• See the ' ' Great Preface " to the SM'A /Cing. 



52 



ANCJENT IDEALS, 



and are embodied in words. When words are insufficient 
for them, recourse is had to sighs and exclamations ; 
when these are insufficient, recourse is had to the pro. 
longed utterances of song; when this is insufficient, un- 
consciously the hands begin to wave and the feet to 
dance." 

" From music the finish is received." It is the finer 
analogue of poetry : " All modulations of the voice spring 
from the minds of men. When the feelings are moved 
within, they are manifested in the sounds of the voice ; 
and when these sounds are combined so as to form com- 
positions, we have what are called airs."' Conversely, 
as with poetry, music influences the dispositions of the 
hearers, hence has an ethical effect. It should not be in* 
appropriate, licentious, rousing feelings improper to the 
situation. The ancient kings, in their institution of music 
as well as ceremonies, meant to teach the people to direct 
aright their likings and dislikings.' Both ceremonies and 
music are needed for the perfection of character. To the 
performance of the one, as to the utterance of the other, 
there must be a correspondence in man's inner nature ; 
otherwise, at least for him, they are nothing." It is, how- 
ever, the special function of music to promote union and 
affection, while ceremonies preserve distinctions and 
respect.* 

It accords with the inwardness of the Confucian ideal 
of character that music ideally conceived should be an 
inner harmony without sound, and that ceremony, like 
wise ideally conceived, should be unembodied in any pre- 
scribed form. " When there is that ceremony without 
embodiment, all the demeanor is calm and gentle, when 
there is that music without sound, there is no movement 
of the will in opposition to it."* 

The ancient Chinese sacrificed to the hills and rivers and 



* U JTi, xvU, i, 4- > See ZiM K«, ui. 3. 

* Sec Li Ki, xvii, i, 10, etc. * 2J JCi, xrii, 1, 15. 33, 24. 19. 

•Z4.Ar<. uvi, 5. 



EGYPT, CHALD.ieJl, AUD CHINA, 



53 



ler natural objects; more earnestly they worshipped 
^their ancestors with sacrifice and prayer. Divi- ^Heaven" 
nation was the means employed to know the and Human 
future.* Above all these matters was the EthicaJ 
thought of the supreme and distant Heaven £*><*«"«'• 
with its ordainments. Sometimes, instead of Heaven 
(Thien), the word '* Ti " is used, which is translated " God." 
The Chinese terms seem equivalent in import. Heaven or- 
ders the world aright ; it is intelligent and observing,' com- 
passionate, and again angered and unpitying, even unjust, 
sending down ruin.' Distant is it and vast.* Of no clear 
efficacy arc prayers and sacrifices. Man must conform to 
its ways and hold its appointment by obeying its ordi- 
nances :* '* Shall not those whom great Heaven does not 
approve of, surely as the waters flow from a spring, sink 
down together in ruin ? " ' 

The conception of Heaven tended to lift itself farther 
above men, out of reach of their prayers; it tended 
toward the thought of ethical law, sure and universal, but 
impersonal. Heaven was the source of man's nature, and 
in conformity to its ordinances must men live. Had 
Heaven possessed a vivid personality, Chinese thought of 
human shortcoming might have contained a sense of sin. i 
Practically, in the system of Confucius, man must look to ' 
himself and his endeavors after right thought and act. 
Worship and prayer have become a part of human pro- 
priety and ceremonial. Not an atom of the rites and 
ceremonies due to ancestors or to Heaven would the rev- 
erent-minded master have disregarded ; but his earnest 
thought was directed to the proper performance of the^e 

'Se« the Shn and Shih King, passim, 

* Shu King, IT, riii, 2. 

'S« Sku KiMgiv, xj, 2 ; V, i, 1 and a ; SJiiA King, Minor Odes of Ae 
Kingdom, P'ourth Dec. Ode 7 aod Ode lo ; Fifth Dec., Ode i ; M<uor 
Odes. Dec. ii. Odes lo and ii ; Dec. iii, lo. 

* Shih King, Minor Odes of the Kingdom, Fifth Dec., Ode 4. 

* Shu King, iv, -i, 4. 
' Shih King, Major Odes of the Kingdom, Dec. iii, Ode 3. 



54 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



matters on the side of man. Righteousness, though it be 
conformity to the nature implanted by Heaven, must be 
reached through human exertions; Heaven helps not 
here. Confucius* teachings related not to God, but to 
human character and human conduct.' 

Confucianism was the ethical expression of the Chinese 
Q . . . formative power and capacity. Before this 
Tenden- power was spent, the race had realized its 
cies; destiny in stable nationality under a not intol- 

Tmoism and erable Government. There had always been 
reactionary modes of inert quietism. These 
found expression in '* Taoism," whose founder Lao-tze, 
was not in all respects an originator,' for in his system 
appear certain thoughts which Confucius also had taken 
from the past and adjusted to Confucianism. Lao-tze set 
forth his system darkly in terms of an ill-conceived abso- 
lute and the ineffable union of contraries; for such is the 
Tao, the causative principle of all existence as well as the 
way or rule of conduct which men must hold to. The 
operation of the Tao is motiveless; it is neither self-seek- 
ing nor benevolent.' In no way docs it assert itself ; yet it 
is the source and sustaining principle of life, and men must 
strive to hold it and imitate its ways. The sage will have no 
desires and do nothing with any purpose, either self-seclc- 
ing or benevolent, so can he not fail to be beneficent.' 
Thus will he in absolute contentment preserve the Tao 
within him. If this fills him fully^ there is in him no 
place for injury or death ; his is indefinite and undefined 
longevity.' Likewise the Taoist sagc-rulcr should set the 
example of doing nothing with a purpose, and seeking no 

*Sc«Zioi Ku. vii, it: tf.. vii, 34: ih., tU. so; ib., tI. 19: U.. li. it. 

•See I^i Oriffimt du Taeismt. J«m dc Rosny. " Kevaede I'llUloire dw 
Rclieioiu, vol. xxii (1S90) p. 161. Lao>txe's ioterestiDg but somewhat 
incomprehenuble book u the To»UtkJnng, translated by Dr. L-eggc, voL 
ixxix, Sacrtd Becki 0/ tht Eatt, 

'iiee Tac-tek-Kimg, 5, 7, 10, 34, 51. 

• Sc« Ta^uM.A'ing, 5. 10. la, 15, 16, as, S4, Vf, a8, 3a, 54, 35, 64. 

»/*.. 16. 44, 45. 50. 53. 55. 59- 



EGYPT, CHALDjEA, AND CflLYA. 



55 



knowledge outside the Tao. Thus will he bring men 
back to the state of primitive simplicity. Taoism for its 
ideal looked back to an age of idyllic ignorance, when the 
people needed neither ruler nor laws, but all had the Tao. 
The first stage of degeneracy was the conscious exercise 
of benevolence and knowledge in the conduct of affairs.' 
In such profound absurdities, which Taoism before its 
degeneracy drew from its principles, it showed the same 
thorough-going consistency as Confucianism. But that 
upheld the state, while Taoism, in any imagined applica- 
tion to afJairs, was a more than reactionary dream.' It 
logically had no place for God ; but its history bears wit- 
ness how that the prayerful spirit of man, when it has 
reached forward to the thought of a single God, if it be 
cut off by some philosophy, may yield itself to every 
superstition. Long since has the philosophy of the Tao 
become idolatry mixed with magic seekings for elixirs of 
longevity. The course of its debasement is similar to 
that of Chinese Buddhism, though the latter system had 
fallen from its strenuous self-reliance before reaching 
China, where it was not introduced till the first century 
after Christ.' Thereafter, though occasionally persecuted, 
its spread was rapid, and its influence helped to turn Tao- 
ism into a religion. Side by side the two systems sank to 
kindred forms of superstition, both appealing to the inert, 
ignoble sides of Chinese character. China was not India, 
where grief at life's fleeting change might hold itself erect 



•See Tao-Tth.JCimg, 3, 17, 18, 19, 58, 60, 61, 64, 65. 

* From ancient China comes the nuble thought of the silent, undirecte<I, 
dmokt unintended, woiking of a perfect character on tlie characters of other 
men. Herein the influence of the Confucian Kuperior man was like the 
ways of Heaven, while the iofluence of the Taoist sage was like Uie mlc and 
principle of life, — the Tao. The active energies of CuoruciauUiu kept th« 
application of this idea within the limits of reason. But this ssme thought, 
comporting with the reat of Taoist principles and balanced by no teachings 
of endeavor, contirmecl that system's usclcssness and sealed its fate. 

'See Deal, Bttddhism in Ckitta, p. 47, etc. Some slight account of it 
jDOj have reached China a century or two before. 



56 



ANCIENT WEALS. 



Spiritual 
LimitAtioas 
of these 
Primitive 
Races. 



on the strength of its high despair. China's strength and 
virtue lay in its toiling hands and toiling character. 
Doubt of the worth of endeavor and attainment meant 
life, not grieved over, but besotted. 

The civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and China 
are primitive, not on account of their antiquity alone, but 
by reason of their quality and the undeveU 
oped humanity which they present. Alike 
they stand for that ancient pre-requisitc of 
civilization, ant-like, patient toil, which builds 
and gathers and preserves according to the calls 
of material well-being. They also represent a social ethics 
suited to the complex conventions of established and sta- 
tionary societies, an ethics roundly well-intentioned, with 
a great fund of precepts shrewd and benignant, yet, save 
in the case of China, related to no fundamental principles. 
Politically, the ideal is that of absolute monarchs wisely 
ruling, and constructing works of large beneficence. 

As free-will is an element of the concept man, it is 
evident that no full humanity can exist among people 
who, through incapacity for social freedom, — which is self- 
assertion self-restrained, — are incapable of forming a free 
community. Here was a striking race deficiency in these 
early peoples. From the first historic periods the rulers 
of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and China, however wide or nar. 
row the territory over which they ruled, or however inse- 
cure their power, were absolute rulers ; and nothing points 
to a previous time when the people's life was not subject 
to a single will. Nor has capacity for free self-government 
ever been shown in any of these lands. Even the Chinese, 
with all their admirable thoughts of right conduct in the 
ruler and his ministers, never evolved an idea of political 
representative freedom in the people. 

A more general, less tangible, deficiency in the peoples 
of Egypt and Babylonia was the undiscriminating nature 
of their desires, and their failure to formulate distinct 
ideals. China's superiori^ lay in the Confucian ideal of 



EGYPT, CffALD^EA. AND CHINA. 



ST 



character ; but this failed to break through its material 
encumbrances, and in the end became sheer ceremonial 
husk. This best ideal of China, bound as it was by for- 
malities prescribing each detail of conduct, lacked in the 
vital quality of freedom. Despite the conception of char- 
acter as inward, there was no trust placed in its spirit 
growth ; it must be bandaged, like the women's feet. 
Evidently, such character was doomed to final incom- 
pleteness. Possibly, had the Chinese been capable of 
holding to the thought of Heaven's personality, they 
would have had an ever-heightening standard of will 
and personality, rather than of form and law, from which 
continually to vitalize their ideal of character. Such 
power they lacked ; and Chinese limitations showed 
themselves in a race inability for spiritual concepts trans- 
cending the one clogged thought of a character correctly 
established in actions immemorially prescribed. They 
might not move onward in conception and endeavor 
toward ideals growing in correspondence to larger spir- 
itual judgments of the verities of human nature ; so 
they failed to know the freedom and the infinite crav- 
ing which is man. Together with the Egyptians and 
the peoples of Mesopotamia, they represent positive 
limitations, a personality matured, yet incomplete, in- 
capable of larger thought and fuller manhood. 



CHAPTER IIL 



INDIA. 



The Vcdic 
Arjftiw. 



AS excavation and research open new vistas of the 
human past, a larger estimate is formed of the gulfs 
of years, the accumulations of experience* and the 
greatness of attainment, separating the earliest recorded 
periods of the culture races of antiquity from their own 
beginnings. Though there be discovered no 
earlier monuments of a race than those al- 
ready known» light may be reflected on its 
past, and its extant records more correctly judged, from 
the standards of comparison afforded by increasing knowl- 
edge of the cruder thoughts of other peoples. The Rig» 
Veda is no new discovery. It is and may remain the 
oldest extant record of the Aryan spirit. India, at least, 
will have nothing more ancient to show. But wider 
knowledge of the ancient world, as well as better un> 
dcrstanding of the Vedic text, makes clear that the 
Vcdic Aryans, through the times of their victorious 
establishment in India, were a race whose institutions 
and Advanced humanity pre-suppose a lengthy past of 
growth in the qualities which make men men. The cir- 
cumstances of their previous life in mountain lands to the 
northwest of India had not evoked in them such monu- 
ment%l builder's faculties as built the temples and the 
tombs of Egypt, or such artistic skill as filled those tombs 
and temples with statuary and decoration ; nor had they 
the manufacturing or commerdal experience of Babylon. 
It was not in such trippings of civilisation that the Vedic 

5« 



Aryans were rich ; but in human capacity, which is human 
attainment strictly speaking. The settings of their lives 
tt-ere simpler, but they were more of men. From the 
time of their first appearance in India, they possess quali- 
ties of mind and spirit out of the reach of Egyptians, 
Babylonians, or Chinese. 

A lack of direct knowledge of the primitive life of the 
Aryan race is but poorly compensated by knowledge of a 
number of institutions common to apparently early stages 
of all Indo-Germanic peoples.* Yet it may be inferred 
that prototypes of these institutions existed with the old 
Aryan stock before any group had begun its journey tow- 
ards a separate home and a distinct nationality. Ancient 
Aryan peoples show a like social and political organiza- 
tion. The tribal divisions are similar ; the final social unit 
is the family. The king or leader is chosen by the tribe, 
or the leadership is hereditary, but conditioned on popu- 
lar ratification. Wherever the Aryan tribes first appear, 
whether spreading through the Punjab, advancing into 
Greece, or wandering in the German forests, one race 
characteristic always asserts itself : there are no absolute 
rulers as against whom other members of the community 
have not rights, sanctioned by general recognition and 
maintained, if needs be, by the sword. Primitive Ar>"an 
peoples were free, free with such freedom as might not 
exist beneath the shadow of a Pharaoh's divinity, the 
spear of an Assyrian monarch, or the paternal rule of a 
Chinese emperor. 

The hymns of the Rig Veda were composed during the 
centuries while the Vedic Aryans were spreading through 
the Punjab to the heart of India and the Ganges land. It 
was a period of frequent wars, waged with the tribes of 
prior races whom the Aryans were subjugating or expel- 
ling, also among the Aryans themselves. The social insti- 

' The word Aiyan U properly applicable only to Iranians and Indians, 
who alone call themselves Aryans. Yet it U commonly used more loosely a» 
equi\*aleni to IndO'Gerniaaic. 




6o 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



tutions shown in the X'tda ' are typical products of the 
Aryan genius ; and the political organization corresponds 
to the primitive organization of the German, Iranian, 
Slavic, and Italian races,' the correspondence holding as 
well during war in the constitution of the host, as in 
peace. Kingships were hereditary or elective. The king 
had the right to command in war ; his was the duty to 
sacrifice for the people or host.' The people on their side 
owed him obedience and gifts. To him fell a large share 
of booty, and of conquered lands and slaves; splendid his 
attire, and great the household he maintained, wherein 
were bards who sang his praises. His power was limited 
by the people's will expressed in assemblies. 

The Vcdic Aryans did not live in cities, nor is there 
evidence that they could write. The art which had 
reached excellence among them was the one least depen- 
dent on material conditions, but most imperatively de- 
manding the finer qualities of human nature, the art of 
poetry. The Rig Veda consists mainly of hymns to the 
gods for use at sacrifices.' They were not the spontaneous 
outpourings of nature's children,* but well-considered and 
artistic compositions. With great pains, and due regard 
to established metrical laws, the bards " stretch *' and 
*' weave " and " build '* their poems, like careful artisans. 
But inspiration has its portion too : the thoughts rise in the 
poet's soul, or come to him from the gods; he sees them 
— and then duly fashions them. In a hymn to Agni a 
young man must contend with an older poet— how shall 
he? Yet — that man who knows to reverence the god, 
knows aright how to weave the hymn to him : there is the 

' Cf. Zimmer, Attitt^$tk4s Lthen / Hopkins, Retigioms v/Imdio^ ch. ii. 

* See MBine*t Village Ommuuitits, lecture iv ; Maine's Early Law and 
Cusiem, ch. viii. 

* Like the Homeric king. Compare Oldenbcrg, Rdigi&n dcs Veda, p. 
370. etc. 

« Sec Oldenbcrg. i'*., p. 10, etc 

» Sc« Puchel and Geldaer, Vettitcke Studim, Einldtung, Uat il, voU i, 
p. x», etc 



mDiA. 



Tbe Gods. 



Immortal light — Agni — in the singer's heart it breaks as 

^Lwell ; and afar draws his spirit in the quest of song.' 

^1 The Vedic Aryans esteemed honesty and justice and 

^■liberality ; strong was their sense of chivalric honor ; they 

loved to meet in festivals, and there contend in chariot 

racing and in song, and enjoy music and the dance ; they 

loved gold and splendid garb, women and drinking. 

Among them also flourished lust and treachery and greed. 

Their thoughts were far from primitive. In the hymns, 

vices are satirized, as well as openly condemned.* The 

Hig Veiia is not the voice of the people, but courtly poetry 

in honor of the bright and high-born gods, rulers of the 

world, bringers of rain, bringers of wealth to noble and 

royal sacrificers. 

These great bright gods appear as nature's powers en- 
dowed with life and will. Some of them reach back to 
the times of Indo-lranian, even Indo-Gcrmanic, 
life;* and in so far as Vedic people had traits 
common to all Aryans, the Vedic pantheon would reflect 
common Aryan traits. The Aryan man was first of all a 
freeman, and, whether Homer speaks or Vasishtha, man's 
conceived relationship to his gods is one of freedom and 
^kelf-respect, even friendship. Otherwise the Vedic pan- 
tlieon is early Indian, with its conceptions developed in 
accordance with the Vedic temperament and the Indian 
environment. 

t. It was a period of advance and acquisition, growth and 
rictory. No reason why the Vedic man should not with 
Dpen trust face his gods and look to them for help. Ene- 
mies quailed before the Aryan hosts, and bountiful was 
the new home which was becoming theirs — and they its 
children. So speak the hymns to Indra, the very Vedic 
god, child of the Indian seasons, god of the towering 
storm, who swings the lightning, vanquishes the robber 

' Rv.^ -n, 9. 

*^f., ix, 113 ; drunken Bmbmuis are saUrized in vu, 103. 

*C/. Oldenberg, ib., 26-38. 




69 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



demons, brings back those cows, the clouds of heaven, 
breaks the drought with rain, increases the wealth of those 
who sacrifice to him, goes before them also in war — Indra, 
to whom the warrior calls in battle not in vain ; " the hero- 
god who as soon as born shielded the gods ; before whose 
might the two worlds shook — that, ye people, is Indra; 
who made fast the earth and the heaving mountains, 
measured the space of air, upheld the heaven — that, ye 
people, is Indra ; who slew the serpent and freed the seven 
streams, rescued the cows, the pounder in battle — that, ye 
people, is Indra; the dread god, of whom ye doubting 
ask, ' Where is he ? ' and sneer * He is not,* he who 
sweeps away the enemy's possessions, have faith in htm — 
that, ye people, is Indra ; in whose might stand horses, 
cattle, and armed hosts, to whom both lines of battle call 
— that, ye people, is Indra; without whose aid men never 
conquer, whose arrow — little thought of ! — slays the 
wicked— that, yc people, is Indra."* 

The Vedic people fashioned Indra out of the Indian 
rainstorm, a marked phenomenon, terrific yet benign. 
The storm winds became the Maruts, while the storm's 
destructive yet disease-dispelling force was the " howler," 
Rudra." These gods were personifications of phenomena 
marked in their appearance yet somewhat irregular in 
their action. The finer Indian poetic spirit would note 
their beauty, — call the Maruts " golden-breasted " : and 
the Indian ethical consciousness would gradually attribute 
to all of them ethical qualities, making them punishcrs of 
sin. But it was to other more regular and all-compassing 
phenomena that the deifying Vedic spirit turned for per- 
sonifications with which to connect its broadening concep- 
tions of order, rule, custom, and right These were the 
sky which overarched the earth and what took place 
thereon or in mid-air, and the unfailing light that from 
the sky flooded the world, wide fearless light, everywhere 

• R*.^ (i. II. S«« ftlso Hv.y i». 19 ; i», 14 ; ir, 30 ; i, 165. 

■ Radn Is «Uo intcri>rcted as the Red God. li^buine (Piadwl). 



INDIA. 



63 



Semite and 
Aryui. 



penetrating, and disclosing all. This was the home and 
elemental origin of Varuna and Mitra, and of the cognate 
gods of sure recurring light, the Riders (A9vin, Dioscuri), 
the first streams of gray light which lead in the Dawn 
('ff&?5, Aurora), close followed by the sun, Surya i^HXio^, 
the golden-haired, '--the " eye " of Mitra- Varuna. 

The religions of Semitic races, culminating in Israel's 
conception of Jehovah, developed the thought of divine 
personal will as immediately all-efficient in the 
regulation of human affairs and all things. 
The deity's will was not conceived as limited 
by any potency or law outside himself ; but only as self- 
limited by the righteousness of his personality. The 
ways and will of God remained the sole source and 
standard of human righteousness, morality, and rightly 
existing law. Hence with Semitic peoples — and here is 
Israel again the more than typical example — human guilt 
or criminality remained shortcoming or transgression de- 
termined by reference to the commands and ways of the 
deity; that is to say, remained sin. Sin and righteous- 
ness continue a matter of personal relationship to God ; 
and the conception of that relationship grows with the 
growing compass and content of human life. 

Arj'an races tended to form their deities by investing 
with life and personality the grand recurrent phenomena 
of nature. The personifications might be vague or mon- 
strous, as were many of the Indian gods, or distinct and 
only too human, like the gods of Greece. In the back- 
ground, however, was still the natural phenomenon, 
which, in so far as it was not the deity, existed of itself 
if subject to him. Moreover, if the deity's functions came 
to transcend the character of the phenomenon of which he 
was a personification, and became ethical, nevertheless 
the phenomenon remained visibly correlated with other 
phenomena; and the observed manner of their occurrence 
would come to be regarded as arising from the nature of 
things and dependent thereupon as much as on the will of 



64 



ANaENT IDEALS, 



the deity. With Indians as well as Greeks, the material 
order of the world became a linked and self-conditioned 
system. And the relationship between this outcome of 
the correlated nature of things and the power of the 
deity or deities touched both extremes, identity ' and in- 
dependence,' and all intermediate modes of dependence. 
In the ancient Greek world the power of the co-ordinated 
nature of things came within the conception of unpersoni- 
6ed fate, later becoming impersonal law, while the Vedic 
Indians regarded it as rita. The Vedic rita as well as the 
Greek fate — turning to law, — could form the starting- 
point of ethical systems based on the fitness and the 
nature of things, and not finding their standards in the 
will or ways of a personal god. And whatever names be, 
applied to transgressions of such natural righteousness, 
they are not sins, because the criterion of transgression is 
not divine will. There is, however, an intermediate con- 
ception, when the standard is a god's command which, by 
its manifest correspondence to the fitness and nature of 
things, has come to coincide with fate or natural law. 

Rita^ like the cognate words in Indo-Gcrmanic tongues 
other than Sanscrit, had many meanings. It meant at all 
events what is set or ordered, in the sense of 
ordained for always. The primary emphasis 
lies in the fact of the ordainment, without 
regard to the cause or autlior or to the character of the 
matter which is ordered. That might be a physical event 
or condition, like the coming of dawn or the flowing of a 
river : * or it might be a matter of human conduct. In 
the world of physical phenomena invariable recurrencci 
may have suggested the conception; and in the moral' 
world, observance of a custom. A like thought could 
apply in both provinces, since the Vedic gods, notwith- 
standing their ethical qualities, were personifications of, 

* Puithcism, 

* Epicomnism (Dcmocritu), Gaddhtsm. 
'Oldwlmc. 1^., p. 196. 



RiUand 
Sin. 



INDIA. 



65 



ph3rsical phenomena. The question of the relationship of 
rita to the gods is a question as to its source ; that which 
is rita throughout the world must be so by virtue of sclf- 
ordainment, or through the inherent principles of things^ 
or by the ordinances of the gods. The Vedic poets spoke 
of rita simply, or of Varuna's r;Va, as indiscriminately as 
Homer speaks of Mozpa or MoTpa Biwv. Yet rtta be- 
comes a universal principle of physical and moral order, 
and though by no means identical with the Greek " fate,** 
it likewise served as starting-point for the conception of 
universal law, self-ordered or springing from the nature of 
things, at least not dependent on the will of any god. 
■ Varuna and Mitra, before all other gods, uphold the 
physical and moral order of the world ; they are " Lords 
of Rita," Watchers over it, its Charioteers and Guides. 
The more prominent is Varuna, who sees all, knows all, 
orders all; from whom nothing can be hid.' He is the 
protector of the good. Whoever transgresses^ sins against 
Varuna,* and may be punished by him. Yet he is a god 
of pity and forgiveness. His hymns express the loftiest 
ethics of the Veda. In the following a sinner prays for- 
giveness : 

" " Wise and great is verily his being, who set apart the two 
worlds, uplifted the firmament, and spread out the stars and 
the earth. 

" And I say to myself, When shall I be near Varuna again ? 
What sacrifice will he accept without anger ? When shall I, 
encouraged, behold his pity ? 

" I search for my sins ; I long to see them. I go to enquire 
regarding them of such as understand. With one voice the 
wise answer me : It is Varuna who is angry with thee. 

" What was the great sin, Varuna, for which thou wilt slay 
thy singer, thy friend ? Tell me that, thou unfailing one, thou 
free ; through my devotion will I speedily atone. 



' Sec e.g. Rv. i, 25. 

* Tnuisgiession may be a sin against other gods as well. 
I ; «i. 57. 4 ; "i. 5S, 5. 



See /Iv. ii, 27, 




€6 



ANCISNT IDEALS. 



ImmoT- 
Ulity. 



" It was not my own wiIl,Varuna ; madness was it, drink, play, 
passion, thoughtlessness. From the youth's error, shall the 
older man take counsel. Even sleep frees us not from wrong. 

** As a servant will I satisfy the gracious one, the zealous 
god, so that I may be guiltless. The god of the Aryans has 
given foresight to the careless, the Wise One calls the inteUi- 
gent to riches." ' 

The Veda contains no distinct authoritative formula* 
tion of belief as to life after death ; yet there was an 
expectation of happiness for the good in the 
heaven where King Yama, the first mortal, 
ruled.' Immortality might be conferred by 
Soma, the divine drink of Indra : " Where there is ex- 
haustlcss light, where is set the sun, place me there, O 
Soma, in the lasting world of immortality. Where Viva- 
sant's son (Yama) is king, where the eternal waters flow, 
where are the worlds of light, there make me immortal. 
Where there is joy and bliss and pleasure, where the 
wish's wish is reached, there make me immortal." ' The 
import of these phrases may not have been spiritual ; yet 
in their vague and abstract nature they are Indian. 

Long had tlie Vedic Aryans prayed to Indra and 
Varuna, and long had they conquered in battle, till 
there came rest and partial peace. Then had 
they time to doubt their gods and ponder on 
life's mysteries, as in the extraordinary, perhaps 
still misunderstood, hymn to the god Who.' 
Vedic thought was often pleased to muse in modes of cos- 
mogonic speculation. Thus it broached the unanswerable 
queries, foundation stones of the edifice of human ques- 
tionings. The Veda speaks of the world's origin in various 
ways, alike illustrative of the primitive confusion of meta- 
phor and fact, which was not to pass away till its place in 

' Hv., vii, 68. Tnns. from Oldenberg, W., p. 296. C/. Rv., rii, 89. 
' There were aUo (ormiog conceptions of hell. Se< OWcnbcrg, i<*. , p. 53^ 
etc 
'A-., ix. 1x3. «iPr., X, lai ; ef. vii, 87, 4, and ii, ja. 



Vedic 
Question' 



INDIA, 



67 



Indian thought had been taken by a symbolism and sub- 
jectivity disdainful of distinction between desire and real- 
ization, the symbol and the symbolized. The Vedic poets 
speak of the world as built, as a house is built by a car- 
penter ; they also use metaphors of generation as state- 
ments of fact ; and again the world is regarded as having 
been brought into being by the power of sacrifice.' The 
spirit of the brooding time to come dawns in a late Vedic 
hymn of vague and dreamful speculation as to first begin- 
nings : 

" Then was there neither Being nor not-Being ; neither the 
air nor the sky above. Did anything stir ? and where ? under 
protection of what ? Was there water and the Abyss ? 

" Neither death nor immortality was there. Only One 
breathed of itself, unbreatbcd on ; beyond this, there was 
nothing else. 

" Darkness sunk in darkness was in the Beginning, every- 
thing surged commingled ; the void rested on empty space, 
jret One came to life by the power of warmth. 

" In It arose desire, the mind's first seed. The Wise, with 
insight searching in the heart, found out the way of Being in 
not- Being. 

" Whence the creation came, whether made or not made, 
he only knows whose eye watches it from highest heaven — or 
he may know it not." ' 

Vedic customs and the notions underlying them are 
more distinctly connected with the thoughts and institu- 
tions of later times through the sacrificial cul- 
tus, wherein the two central conceptions were Soma and 
the fire god, Agni, and Soma, the drink-offer- ^*^°' ' ^' 
ing, which itself became a god. More than 
any other members of the Indian pantheon. 
Soma and Agni represented, symbolized, and 
became other gods.* Vedic and subsequent priestly 

' See 'WftUU, Cosmology of the ftig VtJa. 

^ Hv., X. 139, Kaegi's J^ig Ve^^ p. I3i ; Geldner ftnd Kicgi, Si*h<ntig 
tJfdtr, \xr\\ ; ef. Rv., x, 72 ; x, I90. 

' Sec t. g. Xv., T, 3 ; i, 91 ; U, 77 : c/. Hopkins, RtUgitnspf India, p. 
MS, etc 



Subjec- 
tiTitj. 



68 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



thought regarding them, beginning in unconscious confu- 
sion, gives itself over to the unrestricted treatment of 
symbol as fact, and then to flights of subjective imagin- 
ings which become their own realization. 

Agni is twofold, the heavenly and the earthly:* the 
heavenly Agni dwells in the fire and light of the sun, and, 
as the lightning fire, is bom in the clouds. Various 
mj'ths tcH how he was brought down to earth.' His chief 
earthly origin is in the two sticks rubbed together to pro- 
duce the sacred fire. No kindlier friend of man than the 
Agni of the hearth and sacrificial fire. He was the wise 
priest-god, knowing well the natures of all the gods and 
means of moving them to favor sacrificers, the mediating 
god, descending from the lightning clouds, re-ascending 
from mankind with the propitiating sacrifice or moving 
prayer or god-compc!ling spell. When Indian thought 
but vaguely distinguished the personalities of gods, and 
often identified them because of like divine efficiency, 
Agni could not fail to be identified with all the gods 
whose functions he quickened to an activity accordant 
with their worshippers* desires. A god is the personificap 
tion of power ; how sever from that power the power 
moving it to action, making it efficient ? Quite naturally 
the moving power, the priestly god, unites with all the 
powers it moves, becomes identical with each of them, 
even with all of them. 

Agni, the bright, beneficent potency of fire, which 
drove the demons of disease from Aryan hearths, had been 
a god long before he became the priestly effectuator of 
the sacrificcr's wish. Soma had been the sacrifice itself, the 
spirituous drink-offcring poured to gods before the separa- 
tion of the Iranian and Vedic stock.* In India it held its 
venerable place as the most sacred sacrificial substance: 
especially was it the sacrifice offered to that chief Vedic 

' See /tv. , iO. I, truulated aad oommeated oo hj Cetdner, io PUcbcl axkd 
Cddncr'a Vtdisthe Studtm^ j, 157-170. 
* See Oldenbcfg, Uid., p. lai. 
■ It U tte Hmb* of the Avttta^ 



INDIA. 



69 



god, Indra ; it inspired him with benevolence towards 
sacrificing men and the fulness of strength needed in his 
tempest-conflict with the demon ravishers. From being 
the substance and the means of sacrifice, which Imparted 
strength to the god as well as rendered him propitious. 
Soma became the active strength which Indra got from 
it, as well as the quick benevolence of will which it aroused 
in him ; so it was invested with his living efBcicncy and 
became Indra.' 

As a god its nature was moulded by the nature and 
the function of that of which it was the personification ; 
that is, by the spirituous, exhilarating, intoxicating nature 
of Soma as a drink, and certainly by its sacrificial function, 
nvhich was to inspire Indra with power and good will. 
Like Agni, Soma the god became a deity which roused 
other gods to the activity desired by the sacrificer, and 
like Agni might be identified with all the gods whose 
efficiency it moved, whose efficiency it was. But the 
development and changes of Soma's divinity proceeded 
by a peculiarly symbolic and subjective process, which 
even in the Veda was sufficiently marked to form 
a connecting link between those ancient poems and 
the symbolism and subjectivity of the times which 
were to follow. With many comparisons and meta- 
phors is the sacrifice of Soma represented as effectu- 
ating its purpose ; then the metaphors became statements 
of facts.* Again, Soma is the visible expression of the 
sacrificer's wish to move the god to whom it is offered ; 
and the sacrifice has the desired effect : then it becomes 
not only the symbol of the wish but the symbol of the 
wish realized, the symbol of the efficiency which brings 
that wish to realization : and then the symbolism passes 
away — if indeed there had ever been a clear conscious- 
ness that it was symbolism, — and there is left, Soma the 
wish, Soma the wish realized. Soma the efficiency which 
realized the wish, Soma the god. 

' See ^x'., i, 91. 'C/. r g. Jiv., ix, 36 with Hv., k, 2S. 



70 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



Pomt-Vedic 

Tbonfht. 



The Vedic composers had not passed beyond an ani- 
mistic conception of nature. The more prominent natural 
phenomena had been personified in gods whose 
vague and changing personalities tended to con- 
fusion with one another ; perhaps there may 
have been the thought of universal deity under many 
names and forms. Before there was a clearer appre- 
hension of nature, a contemplative, subjective trend set 
in, which should ring fantastic changes on crude appre- 
hensions of phenomena, and preclude observation or the 
drawing of clear inference from better apprehended fact. 
The Yajur Veda, put together in the period following the 
Rig, knows no difference between fact and symbol. This 
Veda of the sacrificial words and ritual, the oldest Indian 
prose composition,' is a dreary mass of foolishness, where- 
by men learn to conduct sacrifices requiring a lifetime for 
completion and a troop of priests.' Unless the ofBciating 
Brahman betrays him, the master of the sacrifice obtains 
cattle or offspring, or effects the destruction of those he 
fears or hates, or deprives them of cattle or food ! The 
various ceremonial parts of the sacrifice are more than 
symbolical of various gods and the desires of the sacri- 
ficers; they are those gods and effect the sacrificer's will.' 
The sacrifice has, in fact, become the greatest power, effi- 
cient and creative for men and gods ;* vitality, breath, eye, 
hearing, speech, the priest, the lights of heaven, and the 
sacrifice itself, — all come into being through the sacrifice.* 
And the Brahmans also, who conduct the sacrifices, have 
become gods.' 

' SchroedcT, InJiens LiUraltir und Kuitur^ p. 68, etc. 

*Seei4., Vdrlenng 8. 

'Se« «. g. Sataf<atka.Brakmana, Satretl Btwij of tht Ea^t, tqI zii, pp. 
78, 158. 159. 299. 

* " Verily bjr means of the Great Oblition the gods slew Vitrt ; by meuM 
of it they giitied tlul supreme ■uthority which they now wield ; and ko docs 
he (the sacrificer) thereby aow slay his wicked, spiteful enemy, and gain the 
victory ; this is why he performs this snaiiitx."^SMif<ttk»-BraAmatMf 
Sacret/ Bocks of tht East, vol. xii, p. 417 ; t/, ih,, pp. 160, 437, 449, 

•See Schioeder, 1*., p. 137, etc 

•See Hopkins, Bt&gims 4/ India, p. 179, 




INDIA, 



71 



These notions were the lower products of the spirit 
which reached the summit of its course of subjectivity 
along another path. In the Ri^ Veda there Prayer 
appears a god called Brlhaspati or Brahmanas- Becomes 
pati, the lord of prayer. This god by himself, or Very-God. 
with the priests, sang sacrificial songs, or spoke the prayer 
or magic words ; and as prayer and spell, like the warrior's 
ami, win battles, Brihaspati becomes priest war-god, along 
with hero war-god Indra.' In this conception there might 
be seen little peculiarly subjective if light were not thrown 
back upon it by the fortunes which awaited the word 
forming the first part of the name — Brahma, meaning 
** prayer." Prayer, persuasive utterance addressed to a 
being capable of graciousness, readily in India as else- 
Mrhere, passes to " spell," the rightly uttered word which 
compels action or directly compasses a result. This inter- 
change of meaning was analogous to the changing of the 
thought of sacrifice as a propitiatory offering to sacri- 
fice as magic means of forcing from a god the fulfil- 
unent of the sacrificer's wish. And, finally, as the 
sacrifice, from being efficacious as persuasion or compul- 
sion, itself became efficient, a potency and a god, so in 
more than corresponding manner, Brahma, prayer, spell, 
desire expressed, becomes desire attained, spell which has 
worked, prayer which has wrung its granting — from itself. 
I I^oring obstacles, ignoring facts, the all-compassing, 
desirous Indian will conceives its own fulfilment ; thatcon- 
I ception takes to itself efficiency to do, become, or be, all, 
^Hftbsolutcly all. Brahma has become absolute, all-inclusive 
^■Deity. And Indian brooding, mystic subjectivity, having 
[ evolved Brahma, attains it for each man in the conception 
of the Absolute Self, the Atmi.' 

As a subject of thought death is not equally absorbing 
at all times. Men tend to think of the matter in hand ; 
and so long as a race is occupied in strenuous action, it 

' Stc Oldeoberg, ih., pp. 66, 67. 

* €/. Deusbeo, SjrsUm dts VtdamtQ, p. 127 and p. 50 S. 



7» 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



will not muse overmuch on death. While the Vedic 
Aryans were conquering India and establishing them- 
XHAtband selves in their new home, they would hardly 
Iraperma- pause to ponder on the shortness of life, which 
□ence. indeed might continue in Yama's heaven. Yet 

the Vedic period had not passed before they began to muse 
on the world's origin and mysteries. They were an intel- 
lectual people, taking pleasure in contests of sharp ques> 
tion and clever answer, as well as in the contest of song 
with song. The age of conquest spent itself, and the 
influences of the physically enervating land told upon a 
race which had been fostered in a mountain home. As 
centuries went on, this people, having become contem* 
plative, appears as if repelled by the quick growth and 
quick decay of living things in India. That was all tmper- 
manence and limitation ; the Indian spirit was questing 
immortality. The world without was a phantasmagoria 
wherein change and death seemed the sole realities. 
The Hindoo turned his mind upon his own desires set on 
immutability and deathlessness. He had never thought 
of closely scanning things without ; he had never distin- 
guished metaphor from fact ; nor was he now distinguish- 
ing symbolism from identity. The material and sacred 
mode of expressing his desires was the sacrifice, which 
had become all that it symbolized, all that it would effect. 
This was the priestly mode of effecting whatever was 
desired : and the sacrifice had become the chief concern 
of life. To the prevalent conception of it, which stands 
for the climax of Indian foolishness, there was a more 
rational counterpart in the philosophy of the metaphysi- 
cal treatises termed Upanisiuxds. Here, still untrammelled 
by any sense of fact, the Hindoo genius reasons out its 
reasonings most profoundly. 

One expression of the Hindoo horror of impermanence 
was the doctrine of recurrent death which awaited hopeless 
Re-Death; rebirth in forms human or bestial. On rc- 
Ycftrnings. death rather than rebirth fell the emphasis of 
the Indian conception of transmigration. The Hindoo 



INDIA. 



11 



Spirit viewed all things from the side of their change and 

cessation ; hence they were valueless, only lures, torments, 

pitfalls of death: — Shall we be happy with maidens, 

horses, wealth, kingship, when we see thee, O Death!' — 

^ this is the Hindoo mood, the Hindoo negation. Its posi- 

B tivc side is the yearning for the imperishable and immu- 

table, a yearning to reach a condition not subject to 

change and death. The teaching of the Upaniskads is 

I that this absolute condition shall be attained by appre- 

H bending and desiring it and nothing else. What and as 

^ men know and think and desire they are. Know Brahma, 

ithe universal Absolute ; know that man's self, the AtmS, 
is It ; know and desire only It, and It is reached. 
The conception of an Absolute has teased the human 
mind in many lands. In two ways men have tried to 
reach the thought : by a positive accumulative Brahma, 
process — the Absolute is this, and this, and this, the Abi»- 
and all things; by a negative, abstracting pro- '"**= ^^ 
cess — the Absolute is not that,nor that, nor that, ^^^^^ ^'• 
nor any particular thing.' In India, Gotama Buddha was 
t6 drive the latter process through to its conclusion ; but 
in the meanwhile the Brahmantcal composers of the 
Upaniskads pursued for the most part the cumulative 
Way.' Brahma, the universal Absolute, was all Being, all 
that really was, that really saw, heard or knew ; Brahma 
Was the essential being and efficient principle of all things ; 
or, by means of the conception of reality as everywhere 
identical, Brahma might perhaps be conceived as the 
totality of existence. Having by a process of cumulative 
Symbolism reached a conception of Brahma, the Hindoo 
genius after its own peculiar modes identified the veritable 

^f * See the story of Nadkctas in the Katha-Upaniihad ; vol, xr, Satred 
^oaks of Ike Eatt, p. I, etc. 

' Of the latter process the philosophy of Plotitius alTordsthe great ancient 
example. Sec po4it, chap. xvi. 

'Sec for a prime example the ChSttdegya-Uptinishad, passim ; tdi.i,, 
Saertd Books ef tkt East. The Indian coinmetitators ua the Upaniskads, 
bowevcr, purmcd trath modes ; (f. Thihaut, Vcdanta- Sutras, Introductioa 
pp. xxiv-xxix, vol. xxxtr, Sacred Books of the East. 



74 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



being of each man with this universal Absolute. It did 
not leap at once to a conclusion by means of a sweeping 
pantheistic syllogism : Brahma is all ; therefore man, 
with the rest of the apparent manifold of existence, is 
Brahma. It chose symbols for man's self, and then 
through modes of subjective thought it distended that 
self to identification with the sum of the objects of man's 
knowledge and desires. Thus the self was extended 
throughout all existence to mutually all-pcrmeating uni- 
versal identity with Brahma, till the two conceptions 
became indistinguishable. 

All this may be traced in the Oidndogya-Upanisltad, 
It opens with an injunction to meditate on the syllable 
Chandwrra-^™* the sacred syllable which must be pro- 
Upanishad ; "oi^nced before and after reading the Veda, 
Symbolism Om stands for the essence of the Veda^ which 
and Sob- jg x\\^ essence of speech, which is the essence 
jcc ive y. ^j xa.3Ln, who is the essence of plants, which are 
the essence of water, which is the essence of the earth, which 
is the essence of all things. That is to say, the syllable 
Om may be meditated upon as the symbol of all these 
various types of being. Thereupon the Upanishad runs 
the symbolism up and down through all existences, in- 
cluding the elements of human being. " Om is all thb " 
and " all this is Brahma." ' Then it proceeds : Let a man 
meditate on all the world as Brahma. " Now man is a 
creature of will. According to what his will is in thb 
world, so will he be when he has departed this life. Let 
him therefore have this will and belief," that the intelli- 
gent, spirit-like, true-thinking, all-pervasive, all-effecting 
yet invisible and unspeaktng Brahma is the self within 
the heart, smaller than a mustard seed, greater than the 
earth and sky.' 

' Sacred Books of the East, toI. i. p. \ Jf., pp. 35, 45. 

* li., to), I. p. 43. The word ** self " is perhaps the best English T«nder- 
iDg of Atmi. Brahma haring been declared to be the " mU." ■ symbol for 
the self is iume4 in a subse^jnent part of th« l/pamitkad. " The penoD 



INDIA. 



75 



Subsequently there is given further explanation of what 
is Brahma, and the result of knowing it. It is said that 
the Vedas are a name; ''he who meditates on name as 
Brahma is, as It were, lord and master as far as the name 
reaches. Speech is better than a name ; he who medi- 
tates on speech as Brahma is, as it were, lord and master 
as far as speech reaches. Mind is better than speech 
(repeating the "he who meditates," etc.). Will is better 
than mind. He who meditates on will as Brahma, he 
being himself safe, firm, and undistressed, obtains the 
safe, firm, and undistressed worlds which he has willed ; 
he is, as it were, lord and master as far as will reaches. 
Consideration is better than will (repeating the "he who 
meditates," etc.). Reflection is better than consideration. 
Understanding is better than reflection. Power is better 
than understanding. Food is better than power. He 
who meditates on food as Brahma, obtains the worlds 
rich in food and drink. Water is better than food. Fire 
is better llian water. Ether (or space) is better than 
fire. Memory is better than ether. Hope is better than 
memory. He who meditates on hope as Brahma, all his 
desires are fulfilled by hope, his prayers are not in vain. 
Spirit (prana) is better than hope ; as the spokes of a 
wheel hold to the nave, so do names, speech, mind, will, 
etc, hold to the spirit. Father means spirit, mother is 
spirit, brother, sister, tutor, Brahman, all are spirit. For 
after the spirit has gone out of them, they are not to 
be regarded as father, mother, brother, sister, tutor, or 
Brahman." 

It is then suggested that there is yet a broader truth ; 
"The Infinite is bliss. There is no bliss in anything 
finite. Where one sees nothing else, understands nothing 

^t is seen to the eye. that is the self. This U the immorttl, the fearless, 
this is Brahma."—/*., vol. i. p. 67; Chan.-Up., IV, 15, \. Another 
inpurtuit syiabol of the self was prina, the breath of man ; which indeed 
may hare been at one lime regarded as a satisfactory conception of life, 
and o£ the aelf. See Kaushitaki-Vf,, iii, 3 (toI. i. SacrtdBffckj^ p. 294). 




76 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



else, that is the Infinite. The Infinite is indeed below, 
above, behind, before, right and left ; it Ls indeed alt 
this. The Infinite is the I. I am below, I am above, I 
am behind, before, right and left — I am all this. The 
Infinite is the self; self is below, above, behind, before, 
right and left ; self is all this. He who sees, perceives* 
and understands this, loves the self, delights in the self, 
revels in the self : he is lord and master in all the worlds. 
But those who think differently from this, live in perish- 
able worlds, and have other beings for their rulers. To 
him who sees, perceives, and understands this, the spirit 
springs from the self, hope springs from the self, memory 
springs from the self ; so do ether, fire, water, appearance 
and disappearance, food, power, understanding, reflection, 
consideration, will, mind, speech, names, sacred hymns 
and sacrifices, — all, .ill this, springs from the self." * 

It is elsewhere taught that there are two kinds of 
knowledge, first that of the Vcdas and the sacrificial 
ceremonies ; through practice of these matters a man ad< 
vances to better conditions of existence ; but not to the 
best. That comes by the higher knowledge of Brahma,' 
by knowing which a man becomes Brahma. It is Brahma 
which is the self, which sent forth all existence in the 
beginning ; ' and it is the same self by which we see and 
hear and smell, and utter speech, and will and know :* that 
is the see-er which cannot be seen, the hearer which can- 
not be heard ; ' " the one eternal thinker, thinking non- 
eternal thoughts." • He who fails rightly to conceive the 
self, will perish continually, unable to desire what he does 
not know.' Let a man know that all is Brahma, let him 

' CMSnthgya-Upanishad, Satred Bookt^ vol. i, pp. 109-135. 

* Mundaka-Upanishod^ toI. xv, Saered BooAj, pp. 27. etc. 

* Aitfraya*Aremyaktt, ti, 4, I ; Siured Books ^ vol. t. p. 337, etc. 
«/*.. 6. I. 

^ Prasna-Up., It, 7-10. 

*Xatka.Uf>., ii, 5-13 ; Socrtd B^ks, voL it, p. I9. 
*See BrihAdaraHyakO'Up., iv, 4, 19; Sacred Beoks, vdL XT. p. 179; 

Cit4Mdagy».l/f., viii, 7-11. 



INDIA, 



77 



. 



fix his mind on that, understand it, and desire only it. 
Let him purify his mind from all desires for the manifold 
of sense, from all the apparent which is subject to change 
and death.' Thereby shall he attain Brahma: " It stirs 
and it stirs not ; it is far and likewise near. It is inside 
all this, and it is outside all this. And he who beholds 
all beings in the self, and the self in all beings, he never 
turns away from it. When to a man who understands, 
the self has become all things, what sorrow, what trouble, 
can there be to hira who has once beheld that unity? " ' 
Thus has the Hindoo genius conceived Brahma and 
the self, at first perhaps as correlates, the universal Abso- 
lute and the temporarily apparently individu- 
alized part thereof, but as correlates never Abaodon- 
, , ,. . - , , , . ment of la- 

clearly distinguished and soon to be con- iiJTidu»IitT. 

founded to identity. The use of the term 
"self " must not disguise the fact that in the process of 
becoming free from death, from the transient and the 
perishable, the Hindoo has abandoned individuality and 
the natural desires of men, whereby they, as individual 
organisms which they arc, must advance and fulfil their 
lives. The whole content of individual life, the whole 
content of all the life men know and have experience of 
or can conceive, this has been sacrificed for a blank dream 
of oneness with Brahma. Perception, reflection, knowl- 
edge, consciousness rest in duality: subject and object 
there must be. He who has reached the absolute All- 
one, no longer sees or thinks or knows, and therefore 
says the sage Yajnavalkya, in the Bra/imaria of a Hundred 
PailtSy " There is no consciousness after death." ' 

*S«e A g. Maiirayana-Jirahmii$ni-Up., vi, 34 ; vil, 7-8 ; JCatM^Up,^ i. 
3; Brihadaranyaka-Up., \\, 4. 

^ Ita~Cp., 5-7 ; vol. I, Sacrtd Books, p. 31a. 

* It i« questionable whether ihe Upanishads commonljr rccogniM this ul- 
limate conclusion. The thought of absorption in Brahma was of gradual 
growth, and throughout the Upanishads there is continual rcvenriun to a 
bfipo of an tmtaorlntity wherein the individu.-Ll coniciousness is not lost. 
Topular beliefs naturally would accord with this hope rather than with the 
ultimate teaching of the Upanishads. 



78 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



Popular 
Religion. 



The higher teachings of the Atma and Brahma, the 
absolute AU-One, did not constitute part of Indian popu- 
lar religion.' Instead, there was a vague and 
various polytheism wherein the gods most 
prominent perhaps from the end of the Upani- 
shad period were Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, who were at 
a later time to be united in the threefold concept of Cre- 
ator, Preserver, and Destroyer.' Brahma (masculine) was 
the personified popular counterpart of Brahma (neuter), 
and a final stage in the mutation of the word which had 
once meant " prayer." ' 

There are two Indian epics, into which have poured 
divers streams of all things Indian. The lesser poem, the 
RamHydna, makes some approach to being an 
TheBpica. organic whole. It is a priestly, sacrificial, magic, 
ascetic story, with slight genuine heroic motive. 
The Mafid-Bhdrata, however, has as its epic base the storj- 
of a war fought through with hero-valor to the end. This 
story of the struggle of two rival noble and related races 
for supremacy underwent extension and revision ; and in 
the course of centuries there was heaped upon it a mass 
of myth and legend, religious, priestly, and ascetic lore, 
interspersed with moral discourse and philosophic treatise, 
till tlie epic element was overladen, broken, and distorted. 
The Ma/td-B/tdrata reached its present form through the 
opposing action of two forces, the epic motive, which 
spent itself in the composition of the central story, and 
the Brahmanical tendencies which turn the acts and words 
of the epic heroes to exemplifications o[ teachings of re- 
nunciation.* Both poems are filled with measureless and 
tedious exaggeration, whereby is rendered dreary com- 
pensation for the lack of human reality. Yet in them 
may be found Indian ideals of heroism, love and devotion* 

' See Hopkins, JtfHpcns of InJia, p. 244, etc.. aod p. 349. etc 

* See Schroeder, ImJiau Literatur ttmJ A'ultitr. pp. 3SI ff,^ 3^9. 
' Cf. t. g, Schroeder, 1*., p. 544 ; and a»t<, 

* See eqiodallf the Bhagavai-gita, which has been preserved as an episode 
in the Maka-Bhiraia. It is tnuuUted in vot tuI, Safrtd Beokj of tiu Eatt, 



INDIA, 



79 



justice, self-restraint, and righteousness. It is their final 
teaching that even for the valiant and good, whose 
righteous deeds have been crowned with glorious success, 
life and its fruits crumble to derisive dust in the hand of 
the hero who, through high resolveand happy attainment, 
has grasped them at last. Valiant should the warrior be, 
because it is right for him to do his duty as a Kshatrya. 
Devoted must be the wife, tender must be the husband. 
Also^ justice, truth, and open-handed giving are for all to 
follow, and the opposite of them brings misery and over- 
throw even on earth. But foolish is he whose just and 
righteous acts have for their motives visible good to the 
doer. And to the strong-armed and enduring hero who 
sees at last, fair before his eyes, the result of his life's toil 
and sweat, peace and rest come only when he turns his 
longing eyes aside, and renounces. 

h It were not difficult, from the code of Manu and other 
Hegal writings, to obtain more precise expression of Brah- 
man ethics than has been given. But the 
«thics of pre-Buddhistic Brahmanism, as in the Brahman 
Mrahmanas and Upanishads, are found taken Ethic*. 
"Up and carried to sharjier expression in early 
Buddhist writings, and afterwards arc again formally ex- 
pressed in the law books, but with the Atm& teachings in 
the place of Buddhist dogma. As the courtly pagan 
writers at Rome during the second and third centuries 
ignored the existence of Christianity, so this later Brah- 
manical literature ignores the existence of Buddhism. 
while owing to it the sharper development of ethical prin- 
ciples, which existed but crudely in the earlier Brahman 
compositions.' 

By the sixth century before Christ, the prestige of the 
Brahman caste had risen till its members were veritable 
gods, Hindoo society had become sharply separated into 
four castes, of each of which there were minor divisions, 
and had subjected itself to observance of an infinite web 
> The doctrioe of Karma is specially referred to here. 




to 



ANCfENT IDEALS, 



of ceremonial usages regulative of every act of daily life. 
These usages were in general related to conceptions of 
ceremonial purity and impurity connected with conditions 
indispensable for valid performance of sacrifice, and so 
with the obtaining of all imaginable good. The higher 
the caste, the greater the complex of performance and 
conformity required of its members. Above all, the life 
of the Brahman was prescribed from birth to death. After 
his childhood, he shall pass the Hrst quarter of his life as 
a student in a teacher's house ; the second quarter as a 
married householder ; then, when he sees his skin wrinkled 
and the sons of his sons, he shall go to the forest ; and 
for the last part of all he shall, as an ascetic, wander home- 
less without desires till he die.' 

Austerities were frequently practised by hermits, to 
whom merely dwelling in the benign Indian forest was 
not sufficient purification. It was these wood-dwellers, 
vXofilotf that the Greek Mcgasthenes mentions as the 
most honored ascetics." But both to the hermit dwelling 
in a wood and to the beggar>wanderer, asceticism was the 
prime means of cfTecting freedom from desire. It had in 
Buddha's time become the chief Indian meritoriousness 
of life/ 

^ The details of sll these matters may be fonnd in the sacred lav books, 
muBlly calleil Dharma Sutras ; Apastamba, Gaulama, Vaskiuha, VlthmUt 
%aAManu ; and more especially domestic mattcTE in the Grihya Sutrat. 
Stm for trandatioDB. vols. ii. vii, liv, xzv, xxix. xxx, xxxiil, of Sacred Bocks 
af the Eait. The hermit and ascetic life was not for Brahmans alono, 
though only for them was it the rule, 

'Says he also. " Mach of their talk is aboot death." — Fragmtnt$ »/ 
Mtg&ithentt, quoted by Strabo, xv. 59. Megasthenes was ambassador of 
SclcucQs Nicator to Chandra Gupta. 

* tn striking analogy to the conception of sacrifice bad been tbe gronrtb of 
ihe notion of the nature aad eflect of ascetic pcoaDcc. The sacrilice is at 
first propitiatory or deprecatory with a tendency to become magical ; then 
It becomes a potency in itself. Likewise the penance b^an as an atonemcat 
for sin and means of parification, then was practised as a way to 
positiTc merit, and then it becomes a means whereby the persoa prac- 
tilii^ it acquires might and power over natural phcnoraena as well as 
Ov«r gods and men. Penance, self-morlification Gnally, like the sacrifice. 



mD2A, 



8x 



Union with Brahma could not be readied through any 
acts, not through good deeds, not even by sacrifices or 
austerities, except in so far as the latter brought cessation 
of desire. Acts were acts, and could not lift themselves 
out of the world of action to the Absolute. As the fixing 
of desire upon the Absolute reached that, so acts begot 
conditions of phenomenal existence, other states of 
action ; ' and according as they were good or bad, 
entailed in this' or succeeding lives a better or worse con- 
dition. The criterion of what was good and bad was the 
complex of domestic, social, and ceremonial precept, 
which had come into existence mainly through Brahman 
influences. It was a caste morality tempered by the 
principle that in succeeding lives the effect of good acts 
might overleap caste divisions.' And it was a code which 
inculcated self-restraint, mild and forgiving conduct, for- 
bade harshness and revenge, and urged charily and kind 
deeds,* especially charity and boundless generosity towards 
£rahmans. " Not to commit corporal injury, to speak the 
truth, not to steal, to be pure, to restrain the senses, this 
condensed rule of duty Manu declared for the four 
castes." ' One virtue is not enough ; all must be attained. 
** Austerity is useless to him who is destitute of sacred 
learning, and sacred learning to him who is destitute of 
austerity. The Vcdas ^o not purify him who is defi- 
cient in good conduct, though he know them all.*" 

With unerring certainty every act brings its result, — a 
meritorious act, a good result in a succeeding life, a dclin- 

becomes a cosmogonic power whcrcby^ Br&litna creates the world. See 
Schroeder, Inditnt literalur und Kuliur^ pp. 38ft-3gS, 

'SeCit/bMM. xii, 88-^t. 

•See VasiskthQ, vt, 6-8 ; Manu \\, 170-172. 

*Cf. Apastamha, ii. i, ii, 3. Dreadful wu the retribation appointed 
(or the misdeeds of a man of lower caste ngaiiist a Brahman. A Brohmoo 
night viliiy a Sudra is he chose. Sec Gautama, xU and xxi. 

*See<-. g. Viihnu. xci ; Gautama, tiU, 33 ; i. S. aa, a3 ; it, 3, 7, 

•See jl/l»»«, X, 63. 

* Vaiitkiha. xxvi, 17 ; Sacred Books, voL xiv. 

'78., vi. 

VOL I— 4 



88 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



quent act, a bad result. This ethical code is a system of 
linked merit and demerit. Good acts accumulate a cer- 
tain quantity of good result; bad acts diminish that 
result, or, if greater than the individual's good acts, pro- 
duce a minus result downward in the stages of exist- 
ence.' The ill results of evil deeds may also be counteracted 
by atonement or penance performed during the life in 
which the evil act is done.' In such a system as this, by 
whatever name delinquent acts are called, and the tend- 
ency is to adhere to customary phraseology and call them 
sins, it is clear that they have ceased to come under the 
stricter conception of sin, as transgression of a deity's 
command, whereby his displeasure is incurred. In this 
Brahmanic code, delinquency is that which entails evil 
results. The effect entailed upon the doer by the act is 
the sole sanction of conduct ; while the criterion, or rather 
schedule, wherein all acts of life are tabled good or bad, 
is the complex of rules prescribed by the Brahmans. 
There is already ceasing to be a logical place for God, his 
will or ways, his pleasure and displeasure, recompense and 
punishment, in a world wherein man's good or ill is thus 
worked out. 

And already may be noticed, what becomes clearer in 
Buddhism, how that under this system of transmigration 
and this doctrine of Karma, — the power of the 
act over successive existences upward or down- 
ward, — human individuality has become relationship, the 
relationship of a sum of acts and their result to a doer. 
It is a matter of the connection of that doer's present 
existence to the next, to which the sura of his acts brings 
him. His acts are that connection, and keep the individual 
himself ; but no sum of acts leads to a heaven whence 
man will not be born again ; no acLs can free from change 
and death. Such freedom comes through the abandon- 

< See Manu. It, 33^-143 ; xi, fla8-a34 ; xii. 40 ; Apattumha, i. i. i, 5 ; U, !» 
ii, 3 ; C^mttma, x\, 29, 30 ; Mauu, ii. a-5 ; Vitknu, «i, aS ff. 
'See A/. A/-<utamia,\, 9, 34. to>^.. t, iq, 99; Mamu,^. 



KamuL. 



INDIA, 83 

ttent of desire and all action done with desire of result, 
so that the mood may be centred on the 6nal goal of 
oneness with the Absolute. Of necessity this path lay 
through renunciation of all acts done with purpose and 
"attachment to their fruits," — lay, that is, through the 
abandonment of that which was the cord of individuality. 
And the far goal of the final attainment of the absolute 
All-One meant for such thinkers as would carry the 
thought out to its conclusion, a merging of consciousness 
as well. The heart of India was set on an immortality 
which should attain the unchanging, the eternal, the 
absolute and infinite. The more strenuous modes of 
Indian reasonings abandon human individuality as ap- 
parently subject to change and death and an impediment 
to the attainment of the Absolute. 



CHAPTER IV. 



THE BUDDHA. 



THE sixth century before Christ was a time of mental 
activity in India. The Hindoo genius was pleasur- 
ably occupying itself with insoluble problems, the 
data of which were transcendent or did not exist ; the 
Hindoo spirit, the Hindoo heart, was sick with thinking 
upon change and death. This Hindoo heart, 
BaddhiBina yearning away from all things transient, has 
ReTolutioa. ^'*^^ desire creative la its intensity impelled 
the Hindoo mind to conceive Brahma and 
think the Self of man to be that Absolute. !t was a 
dream. The Hindoo metaphysical genius might find 
ceaseless occupation in its elaboration ; but the Hindoo 
heart, subjectively creative as it was, found the dream 
vague and the phantom thereof such as might not be 
clasped. Desire may not forever satisfy itself on fanciful 
creations. H it do not dissipate to a dialectic and scholas' 
tic interest in the creatures of its ratiocinations, it cannot 
but 6nd their insubstantiality a mockery. In the end, 
yearning that remains real will be strung to vision, and 
abandon fulfilments seen to be imaginary. So came it, 
though argument and metaphysical discussion, with wordy 
priestly jugglings as to significance of caste and rite and 
sacrifice, were taking up the minds of many men in India, 
that there were others whose spirits might not so be 
quenched. They had had enough of metaphysics ; and 
where was reality in all the fantastic symbolism and sub- 
jective fancy of attainment of the heart's desire ? Life's 



THE BUDDHA, 



»5 



manifold content of change and death was unsatisfying, 
loathsome, sorrow-stricken through and through. But 
recognize it ; cease from imaginings ; whatever refuge 
may yet be found, let it be reai.' 

The needs of the time, and that answer to them which 
■was rendered inevitable by the previous courses of Indian 
thought, reached "name-and-form " in Gotama Buddha. 
Under the inspiration of his greatness, a renewed reality 
enters Indian thought. Gotama's system was a marvel- 
lous exemplification of one of its fundamental principles. 
Karma, the power of the previous act. For in Buddhism 
the necessities of Indian thought reached their issue, and 
the needs of the tired Indian heart found the only refuge 
open to the pointings of its mood. It was a further and 
transcendent greatness of Gotama's teaching that, though 
an outcome of Indian thought and an answer to Indian 
needs, it burst through Indian bands of caste and custom, 
compassed certain broad human, or at least Asiatic, veri- 
ties, and so was fitted to become, not indeed a universal 
religion for mankind, but at all events a religious system. 
Of rather congeries of religious systems, for a large part 
Wt Asia. 

In India,Buddhism was dogmatically a revolution, but 
a most consequent one, showing how the progress of race 
tendencies may quite suddenly produce doctrines diamet- 
rically opposed to those previously held. The chief 
practices of Brahmanism were sacrifice and ascetic pen- 
ance. Buddhism pronounced against both. Brahmanism 
held to an absolute All-One, Brahma, and to a Self which 
is It. In the place of a dethroned Absolute, Buddhism 
set up ceaseless change, nor recognized the existence of 
a self, or any imperishable entity in man. The deeper 
^^losophic thought of India, having displaced the ancient 

^^ Buddhism was not alone in finding all life suffering. The same thought 
underlies the Samkyn phiHosophy of Kaptla, not unlikely an earlier system 
than Buddhism. It was also atheistic, like Budflhism. See R. Garbe, Dit 
Smtnkya'Phiieiopkie, f<unm and pp. 133^. and 191^. 




86 



ANCIENT WEALS, 



semblances of gods with an impersonal Absolute, might 
not go back and pray to the old fancies. It must go on. 
And from the absolute Brahma onwards there was but 
one step, though it seems a large one — from Brahma to 
no Brahma, — a step which also involved abandoning the 
absolute Self in man. With no Absolute nor any god, 
I man, whatever he was, had nothing to rely on but him- 
self. He was his own lord and refuge in a world of change 
and death, wherein was nothing worth. With this recog- 
nition, the Hindoo mood of pain at transitoriness intensi- 
fied and widened to include all life. So Buddha says all 
life is suffering ; for man there is only detachment. 
Herein is he lord indeed ; he may renounce — no other 
being for him — and thereby cease from sorrow. Said the 
young Brahman to Death : " Keep thou thy horses, keep 
dance and song for thyself. Shall we be happy with 
these things, seeing thee ? " ' " How is there laughter," 
says the Buddhist, " how is there joy, as the world is al- 
ways burning? Why do ye not seek a light, ye who are 
surrounded by darkness? This body is wasted, full of 
sickness and frail ; this heap of corruption breaks to 
pieces, life indeed ends in death." ' " Let no man love 
anything ; loss of the beloved is evil. Those who love 
nothing and hate nothing have no fetters. From love 
comes grief, from love comes fear; he who is free from 
love knows neither grief nor fear." ' 

So Buddhism has no god, no Absolute, and no imper- 
ishable human soul. The Blessed One is but the Teacher 
through whose teachings humanity attains release from 
suffering. He saves not ; each man must save himself : 
" Rouse thyself by thyself; examine thyself by thyself ; 
for self is the lord of self."* Yet the personality of 
Gotama was of such ineffable comfort, that he was the 

* Xatka-Upanishoii, i. i, 36 ; sec amtt, p. 73. 
' Dkammapada, xi, T46, 148. 

) Ihid., xvi, 311. 215, 

* IUd„ xxT, 379, 380. "Wue people fuhion thenuelTCS." — Ihid.^y\, 
80. 



Tim BUDDHA. 



87 



Gotanift. 



pattern and the type of human refuge, and Buddhism as 
a religion to which men cling is the Sife as well as teach- 
ing of Buddha ; " I take my refuge in the Blessed One, 
in his Teaching, and in the Brotherhood." ' 

Gotama the Buddha was born near the middle of the 
sixth century before Christ, of the Sakya race which dwelt 
in the northeastern part of India, where Brah- 
man influence was weaker than in the west and 
south. Little is known of his youth. He married and 
had a son. When about twenty-nine years old, he left 
his house, and became an ascetic. For seven years 
Gotama practised asceticism after the manner of the time. 
Yet no light came. Realizing the folly of austerities, he 
stopped them, and resumed an ordinary diet. At this 
apparent lapse, certain ascetics, who had been his fol- 
lowers, left him — alone. One night, seated beneath a 
tree in the forest, he saw the principle of causation ; 
he was loosed from cravings and became the Buddha. 
Moveless he continued in the bliss of contemplation 
with knowledge perfected. On the seventh evening hfe 
allowed to pass through his mind that course of inev- 
itable change to which all life is subject. 

"Then the Blessed One, during the first watch of the 
night, fixed his mind upon the chain of causation, in di- 
rect and in reverse order: 'From ignorance . 
spring the samkharas (conformations, confcc- Caugation 
tions. puttings-together), from the samkharas 
springs consciousness, from consciousness springs name- 
and-form, from name-and-form spring the six provinces 
fof the six senses, eye, ear, nose, tongue, body or touch, 
and mind], from the six provinces springs contact, from 
contact springs sensation, from sensation springs thirst 

' Said by each Butldblst on becoming a monk. This sketch of Daddhism 
follows the Soulheni Canon of Pali Books, the Patimokkha^ Mahavagga, 
/Culiavagga^ Dhammaf>ada, and Buddhist Suttas^ with a comparisoD of the 
later Qiutticns of King AfHinda, contained in Siurrd Books of tke Etui, 
vols. X, xi. xiii, xvii, xx, xxxv. xxxvi. The writer is moch indebted to 
rrof. Oldenbe^'s Buddha. 




88 



ANCIENT IDEALS* 



(or desire), from thirst springs attachment, from attach- 
ment springs becoming, from becoming springs birth, 
from birth spring old age and death, grief, lamentation, 
suffering, dejection and despair. Such is the origin of 
this whole mass of suffering. Again, by the destruction 
of ignorance, which consists in the complete absence of 
lust, the samkharas arc destroyed ; by the destruction of 
the samkharas, consciousness is destroyed ; by the de- 
struction of consciousness, name-and-form is destroyed ; 
by the destruction of name-and-form, the six provinces 
are destroyed ; by the destruction of the six provinces, 
contact is destroyed ; by the destruction of contact, sensa- 
tion is destroyed ; by the destruction of sensation, thirst 
is destroyed ; by the destruction of thirst, attachment is 
destroyed ; by the destruction of attachment, becoming 
is destroyed ; by the destruction of becoming, birth is 
destroyed ; by the destruction of birth, old age and death, 
grief, lamentation, suffering, dejection and despair are de- 
stroyed. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of 
suffering.' Knowing this, the Blessed One on that occa- 
sion pronounced this solemn utterance: 'When the real 
nature of things becomes clear to the ardent, meditating 
Brahman, then all his doubts fade away, since he realizes 
what is that nature and what its cause, since he has under- 
stood the cessation of causation ; he stands, dispelling 
the hosts of Mara, like the sun that illumines the sky/ " ' 
The chain of causation was to Gotama the basis of his 
system. Life to him was very painful ; release from its 
suffering was the goal and purpose of the way which he 
set before men. He had no taste for fruitless metaphysi- 
cal discussion, nor cared for the philosophical establish- 
ment of his doctrines further than was needed to support 
them as a practical system. His followers in more dialeo 
tic mode attempted further to substantiate the principles 
stated in his teachings, or towards which his teachings 
pointed. His own system consisted in the establishment 

^MaMavcgga, I« 1« x-J. Stcrtd Books c/ tMt EaU, to], xUJ. 



THS BUDDHA, 



89 



of a rule of aonduct and a way of life; for the masses in 
after times it naturally became transformed to a religion. 
But it were a misnomer to apply the term " religion " to 
Gotama's system as he set it forth ; for it recognized no 
god nor any all-controIUng power without the man, which 
he should seuk to put himself in right relation with. 
Though hardly a philosophy, it might be called a philo- 
sophic way of life, inasmuch as knowledge was its means. 
An explanation of Buddha's chain of causation lies 
partly in the same Hindoo subjectivity that found expres- 
sion in the Upanishads. What one thinks, fixes his mind 
upon, and absorbingly desires, that he reaches or be- 
comes ; ' and conversely, by ceasing from personal desires 
he ceases from conditions of their fulfilment, that is, from 
states of individual existence. From desire of the sense- 
objects of life comes attachment ; from attachment comes 
becoming ; from becoming come birth and rebirth, old age 
and death, unto the continuance of the evil round, if the 
subject at death be not free from desires connected with 
individuality. In Buddhism this is the same as in Brah- 
manism ; except that the final attainment of Brahma 
diCTers dialectically from the final release unto Nirvana. 

The second part of the explanation is the doctrine of 
"Karma and successive lives, which in Buddhism is stated 
•with greater fulness and ethical precision than 
\\x\ the Upanishads, and is difTcrentiatcd from the ^7fH«Kl 
corresponding Brahman doctrine by a different 
conception of being. If in Krahmanism, Karma was the 
cord of individual identity through successive lives, in 
Buddhism it was more, for it was the sole constituent of 
self, of individuality. There was nothing in individuality 
except Karma ; Karma \% all there is to individual exist- 
I ence.' For Buddhism recognizes no essential being, but 

* For asomevfaflt later application of this pHndp)e, see Qutitionstf King 
MiUnda, lit, 7, f) (vol. xxxv, Sacrtd Books of the £asi, p. 129). 

'See Qttesiiofis of King MilMa, i\. 2, 6 ; lii. 4, 3 ; iii. 5. 6 (vol. xxxv, 
S. B. £„ pp. 40, 71, 86, loi, m. iia). "What is it that is reborn f 




9> 



ANCIEiiT IDEALS. 



only a universal linked order of combined causal relation- 
ship and ceaseless change. From this continuously, 
ceaselessly, with an absolute impermanence, result the 
"conformations," the *' puttings-together," the samkh&ras, 
whence spring *' consciousness " and that microcosm of 
alt restlessness which Buddha called " namc-and-form," 
but which is usually called a man. To this name-and- 
form there is no entity, no substantiality, either material 
or spiritual ; there is no body, there is no soul,' but only 
a group of reciprocal causal relations temporarily bound 
together by Karma, which is the phase of the universal 
law of causality and ceaseless impermanence relating to 
this conscious "name-and-form." " Impermanent are all 
the samkharas — their vanishing is bliss " — their continu- 
ance in consciousness is suffering. 

The thought of M^ra completes the group of ideas con- 
tained in the Buddhist conception of existence. To the 
simpler view, Mara is a personality, the Evil One, the 
Tempter, Prince of Death. Between him and the fol- 
lowers of Buddha there is war. But to philosophic 
Buddhist thought, MAra is the all-pervading principle of 
evil and of suffering, co-cxistent, co-extensive with all life. 
Wherever there is corporeal form, wherever there is life, 
there is also evil, there is also Mara. 

After seeing the chain of causation, Gotama lingered 
Pre&diifls some days in solitude. He was disinclined 
of the to teach, lest he should have his pains for 

Doctrine, nothing. A great god descends, and kneeling 
beseeches him to proclaim his doctrine, and the Buddha 

Nune-and-fano i& nborn. Is it this safflc namc~and-fonn that is reborn? 
N'o ; but by thi& iuunc-«iuI-(onQ deeds are done, good or evil, and by these 
deeds (i.e. by this Karma) another name-atid-fomi is reborn." — lb., ij, s, 6. 
*' la there sach a thing as the ioul ? Id Uie highest sense there is bo sad 
thing. Is there any being who Iraiisintgrates (ront this body to uuMfccs? 
No, there b not." — Ih., iii, 5. 6. 

' It U unlikely that Gotama ever pennitled his own djtcoarses to ptas into 
the ultimate denial of any soul or self whatcTer : he merely pointed ottt 
thai alt things connected with man. material or spiritual, were impcxiuaent 
aad were not the scU. Sec f. g, MaAdvagg^ '• ^ 3^7 ; & S. £., vol. 
xiii, p. 100. 



THE BUDDHA. 



91 



yields.' He resolves to preach to the five Bhikkhus, who 
had been formerly his followers, and sets out to Benares 
where they abode. When the Blessed One came to Ben- 
ares, to the deer-parlc, Isapatana, where the iive Bhikkhus 
were, they, seeing him, say one to another ; " Here comes 
Gotama, who has turned to a life of abundance. Let us not 
salute him, nor rise when he approaches, nor take his bowl 
and robe. We will put there a seat ; if he likes, let him 
sit down." But when the Blessed One approached, they 
went forth to meet him. One took his bowl and hb 
robe, another prepared a seat, a third brought water to 
■wash his feet.' Now they addressed him by his name, 
and called him Friend. But he said: "Do not address 
the Tathagata ' by his name, nor call him Friend. The 
Tathagata is the holy absolute Sambuddha.* Give ear, 
O Bhikkhus ! * the immortal has been won by me. I will 
teach you. If you walk in the way I show you, you will 
ere long have penetrated to the truth, and see it face to 
face ; and you will live in possession of that highest goal 
of the holy life, for the sake of which noble youths give 
up the world and go forth into the houseless state." 

Then the Blessed One convinced them, and they gave 
car to him willingly. Whereupon he addressed them 
thus: 

" There are two extremes, O Bhikkhus, which he who 
has given up the world ought to avoid. What are these 
two extremes ? A life given to pleasures and — . gi_|.* 
lusts : this is degrading, sensual, vulgar, ignoble, fold Path 
and profitless ; and a life given to mortifica- and the 
tions; this is painful, ignoble, and profitless. ^**"'' ^^^** 
By avoiding these two extremes. O Bhikkhus, 
the Tathagata has gained the knowledge of the middle 
path, which leads to insight and wisdom, which conducts 

' Makdvagga, i, v, l-ix. 
•/fcV/., i, vi, 9. 

'Tfai$ is the tenn applied by Buddha to hiroscir ; it n^ifies tb« Con- 
fdeted. Perfect One. 
* UntveTsal Buddhi. 
' Bhikkha signifies a beggAi-monlc. or brother. 




9« 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



to calm, to knowledge, to Nirvana.' Which, O Bhikkhus, 
is this middle path, the knowledge of which the Tathi- 
gata has gained ? It is the holy eightfold path, namely, 
Right Belief, Right Aspiration, Right Speech, Right 
Conduct, Right Means of Livelihood, Right Endeavor, 
Right Memory, Right Meditation. 

" Bhikkhus, the noble truth of suffering is this : Birth 
is suffering; decay is suffering; sickness is suffering; 
death is suffering ; presence of objects we hate is suffer- 
ing; separation from objects we love is suffering; not to 
obtain what we desire is suffering; briefly, the fivefold 
clinging to existence is suffering. 

" O Bhikkhus, the noble truth of the cause of suffering 
is this: Thirst, that leads to rebirths accompanied by 
pleasure and lust, finding its delight here and there; thirst 
for pleasure, thirst for existence, thirst for prosperity. 

"O Bhikkhus, the noble truth of the cessation of suffer- 
ing is this: it ceases with the complete cessation of this 
thirst, — a cessation which consists in the absence of every 
passion, — with the abandoning of this thirst, with the 
doing away with it, with the deliverance from it, with 
the destruction of desire. 

" O Bhikkhus, the noble truth of the Path which leads to 
the cessation of suffering is this: that holy eightfold 
Path, that is to say. Right Belief, Right Aspiration, Right 
Speech, Right Conduct, Right Means of Livelihood, 
Right Endeavor, Right Memory, Right Meditation.*" 

The sermon at Benares illustrates Buddha's restric- 
tion of his teaching to the three subjects^ suffering, the 
source of suffering, and how men may attain deliverance 
from suffering. Ignorance, as it were, of the way out, 
that is to say, of these four noble truths, is suffering's 
root. The immediate cause of suffering, which constitutes 

' For va illiuUatioo o( Buddha's cunceptioa of the " middle path.** f. t,, 
A life neither of luiurjr nor of kscctic peiuncei, mc the itoiy ol Son*, 
MmJkJhmggm, v, i, la-iS. 

•MtmUvagim, i. vi, 17-aa. 



THE BVDDHA, 



93 



the sum of Individual life, is thirst for life and pleasure: 
desire leads to rebirth. With the destruction of desire, 
the round of rebirth and suffering is stopped. The way 
to the cessation of suffering by the destruction of desire 
is the eightfold path of the fourth holy truth. 

The practical ethics of Buddhism burst through the 
bands of caste and the follies of asceticism, but were 
otherwise similar to the ethics of Brahmanism. 
The particular acts approved by a people or Ethi** 
sect are often a matter of circumstance and 
character. A more fundamental question is as to the 
sanction of the conduct, the principle thereof. Only by 
understanding that, can one rightly comprehend the mean- 
ing of precepts enunciated in a system. It is evident that 
whatever phrase be used, there can be in Buddhism no 
principle of sin ; no adjudging of an act wrongful because 
transgressing the will of the doer's god, who is powerful 
to punish. In Buddhism all is law; wrongful conduct 
sounds in ignorance with its attendant uncontrolled 
desires. Lust and anger, for example, represent craving 
and clinging to existence.' Conversely, the great prac* 
tical Buddhist virtue of benevolence logically sounds in 
realization that individuality is delusion, and in a consc- 
quent discarding of desire for self, a desire which is 
opposed to sacrifice for others. In fact, there can be no 
real love without elements forbidden by Buddhism, — 
attachment, real caring for another, devotion to another.' 
The law of human life, the universal principle of ethics, 
is Karma, the evil or good result of the act to the doer. 
The final object is cessation from all personal desire, 
which shall cut off Karma and rebirth. Logically in such 

' The man who harbors no banh thoughts within him, Who cam not 
whether things stc thus or thus, IIis stale of joy. freedom from grief or 
rare. The very gods obtain not to behalld. — JCuilavagga, \\\, i, 6 ; vol. xx, 
S. B. £., p. 333. 

' From no Indian point of view could the love between a man and a woman 
be ail ideal, but only temptation and debasement. Here Buddha &ees only 
(oslneis. See /. g. Sntta Mpata, 835, etc. {S. B. £., vol. x.) 



94 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



a system, devotion to others can be only devotion to 
abandonment of self. Nevertheless the Blessed One re- 
frained from entering Nirvana, and through a long devoted 
life exemplified his inculcation of "a love far-reaching, 
all-extending, all-embracing." By a like devotion must 
we think that his disciples were inspired. 

The precepts of Buddhist righteousness are usually ex- 
pressed negatively : the Buddhist shall not destroy any 
living thing, shall take no man's goods, shall not commit 
adultery, tell no hes, nor drink intoxicating liquor. The 
precepts inculcating the positive virtue of charity and 
benevolence towards all living beings are noteworthy: 
" Do not speak harshly to anybody ; those who are 
spoken to will answer thee in the same way. Angry 
speech is painful ; blows for blows will teach thee." ' 
" For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time. 
Hatred ceases by love ; this is an old rule." ' " Let a 
man overcome anger by love, let him overcome evil by 
good ; let him overcome the greedy by liberality, the liar 
by truth." ' There is a world of progress in the western 
or Christian acceptation of the thought of overcoming 
hatred by love ; nor are those elements of human truth 
absent from the Buddhist view.* But soon, as with all 
things Indian, this human truth was carried into the ab- 
surdy and there arose the quasi-magical idea that by think- 
ing lovingly of each quarter of the world and all things 
therein, it was possible to disarm the hurtful power or 
inclination of all men and animals.* 

A more advanced stage of holiness, to which good deeds 
are prc-csscntial, is self-centred meditation,' fortified with 
knowledge of the impermanencc of all things and crown- 

' Dkammafada, \yy 

'/*..5. 

' />., MJ. 

* See the nonl ountive of MAkSva^ga, k, a. 

* Xuiimvaggm^ t, 6 ; i ; ef. ii., vii., 3, is. ftod Quati^ms of JCuigMi- 
Urnia, iv, 4, 16. 

'" If he should demra," JiamiJu/ya'Sutia (rot xi. S, S. £., p. MC^ 



THE BUDDHA. 



95 



ing watchfulness over temptations of sense. "Great is 
the fruit, great the advantage, of earnest contemplation, 
when set round with upright conduct. Great is the fruit. 
great the advantage, of intellect when set round with 
earnest contemplation. The mind set round with intelli- 
gence is freed from great evils, from sensuality, from 
individuality, from delusion and from ignorance.'* ' 

A little while after the sermon at Benares, when the 
disciples had reached the number of sixty, the Blessed 
One said to them : " I am delivered, O Bhtkkhus, from all 
fetters, human and divine. So are you also delivered. 
Go ye now, out of compassion for the world, and wander 
for the gain of the many and the welfare of gods and 
men. Preach the doctrine which is glorious In the begin- 
ning, glorious in the middle, glorious in the end, in the 
spirit and in the letter; proclaim a consummate, perfect, 
and pure life of holiness. There are beings whose mental 
eyes are covered by scarcely any dust, but if the doctrine 
is not preached to them they cannot attain salvation. 
They will understand the doctrine. And I will go also 
to preach." ' 
I It is a characteristic of race religions and all systems of 
thought showing no tendency to extend beyond national 
limits, that what there is in them of universal unireriAl 
truth and applicabiKty is inseverable from con- Elements io 
ditions which only the race fulfils, or from Buddhism, 
peculiar thoughts and customs unsuited to other peoples. 
Buddhism was not thus limited. Recognizing no castes. 
k it held itself fit for acceptance beyond the pale of Indian 
' society. Suffering weighed on all men, f udras as well as 
Brahmans; all were in need of salvation. Caste was a 
thing of no real import in the way of life towards Nir- 
vana, which Gotama taught. In broad, enlightened, spir- 

' Book oftfu Great Drceasr, I, 12. (vol. xi, S. B. £.) Buddh« set forth 
different stages of his teaching lo householders (liy-brothers) ftnd to monks 
{BAiMAut). SJee 16., i, 11, 23, 34 ; and the beautiful atoty of tbe)rouDg 
man Vasa, MaAdvagga, i, 7. 

' Makavagga, i, ii, Z. 



96 



ANCIENT IDEAtS. 



itual mode, early Buddhist writings refute the ethical 
efficacy of birth or form or ceremony. Not by birth is 
man an outcast or a Brahman ; but by his deed becomes 
one or the other; the outcast is the angry-, hateful man; 
he who harms living beings, and has no compassion ; he 
who thieves, defrauds, murders ; who is an adulterer ; who 
is ingrate to his parents : he who does wrong and con- 
ceals it, or pretends to be a saint, and is not, — he is an 
outcast.' It is not by his diet that a man is defiled ; nor 
purified by his forma! observances, his tonsure, rough 
skin, his hymns or sacrifices.' He who has cut off all ties ; 
who being innocent, endures reproach ; who is free from 
anger, subdued, clings not to sensual pleasure ; who 
knows in this world the destruction of his pain ; he who, 
without desire for this world, wanders alone and house- 
less — he is a Brahman.' 

There was no place in Buddha's system for sacrifices or 
for prayer; and the teaching that ascetic penances were 
degrading distinguished his followers not only from Brah- 
mans, but from the many sects and bands of ascetics that 
filled India. Yet he knew the difficulty of living in the 
world freed from its attachments; and he may have real- 
ized the power which lay in organization. The complete 
disciple of Buddha must be a monk, a brother, a Bhikkhu. 
The Buddha himself founded the Order or brotherhood ; 
and the early books ascribed to him its elaborate organiza- 
tion and its many rules.* His forty-five years of teaching 

■ VoMttanttta, "j; S. S. £., voL x, p. SO. 

* /TmltavaggmmAmafamt/MaSmt/a, vol. x, S. B. E., p. 40. 

* Ma]kivaaa-yaseMMa.Syna (vol. 1, .S. B. E.. p. lis). As b plun from 
the import of these sajHngs, the wonl Bnhman is not used in a caste sense. 

* It wu proof of the greatness of Gotama's spirit that, after some tnls- 
gT«it4;, he permitted women tofonn Buddhist coramnnities, stmilar, ihoagb 
inferior, to those of the mcmki. See A'm'iatvgga x, (toL xz, S. B. E., p. 
3x1, etc). Compare Bi»k 0/ tkt Great Dettast. r, 93 {S. B. £. », p. 91). 
Absolute chastity was required of Bhlkkhas and Bhikkhnsts. For the 
activity <A women In the early Buddhist movcmeot see Tkf iVcmen LtaJen 

tf tkt BmddkUt Re/trmatism, by C. A. Foley ; Trtmt. #/ Ctmgrai */ 

Orientahtti far l&^, voL i, p. 344. 



THE BUDDHA. 



97 



and leadership make this view credible. The brother- 
Jiood proved effective for the spread and maintenance of 
Buddha's teachings. By no means were its rules free 
from Indian peculiarities. Hindoos were habituated to 
minute regulations of daily life ; it was second nature for 
Buddhist communities to subject themselves to the like. 
But Gotama knew that no particular form or regulation 
was essential, and he is said to have given explicit per- 
mission to the Order to change its minor rules after his 
death.' When the Blessed One should be no more, the 
brethren, in matters touching the Order and all else 
as well, must heed his final exhortation : •' Be yc lamps 
unto yourselves. Be ye a refuge unto yourselves. Be- 
take yourselves to no external refuge. Hold fast to the 
truth as a lamp. Look not for a refuge to any one beside 
yourselves. Let a brother as he dwells in the body so 
regard the body that he, being strenuous, thoughtful, and 
mindful, may whilst in the world overcome the grief 
•which arises from the bodily craving ; so also, as he thinks, 
or reasons or feels, let him overcome the grief which arises 
from the craving due to ideas, or to reasoning, or to 
feeUng.'" 

Soon after holding the discourse from which these 
words are taken, Buddha announced his ap- Demth of the 
preaching decease : Buddbm. 

" My age is now full ripe, my Hfe draws to its close : 
I leave you, I depart, relying on myself alone 1 
Be earnest then, O brethren, holy, full of thought ! 
Be steadfast in resolve, keep watch o'er your own hearts ! 
Who wearies not, but holds fast to this truth and law. 
Shall cross the sea of life, shall make an end of grief." * 

Speaking thus, the Blessed One turned to comfort the 

• See Boi'kef iht Great Detea.'e,v\. 3 ; vol. t\, 5. B. £.,p. iia. There 
vere 00 prftyen in the early Buddhist commuDities ; but frequent public 
ooafeision u to delinquencies. 

* Boat of the Great Deceast, ii, 38. ' i3„ iil, 66. 



98 



ANaENT IDEALS. 



disciple who was dear to him: " Enough, Ananda ! do 
not let yourself be troubled. Have I not often told you 
that it is in the very nature of all things most near and 
dear unto us that we must divide ourselves from them, 
sever ourselves from them ? Whereas everything bom, 
brought into being, and organized, contains within itself 
the inherent necessity of dissolution, how can it be possi* 
ble that such a being should not be dissolved ? For a 
long time, Ananda, have you been very near to me by 
acts of love, kind and good, that never varies, and is be- 
yond all measure. You have done well ! Be earnest in 
effort, and you too shall soon be free from the great evils, 
— from sensuality, from individuality, from delusion, and 
from ignorance." * 

Then the Blessed One addressed the brethren and said : 
" Brethren, there may be doubt or misgiving in the mind 
of some brother as to the Buddha, or the truth, or the 
path. Enquire, brethren, freely. Do not have to re- 
proach yourselves afterwards with the thought, 'Our 
teacher was face to face with us, and we could not bring 
ourselves to enquire of the Blessed One when we were 
face to face with him,' " 

And when he had thus spoken, the brethren were 
silent. For the second and the third time the Blessed 
One addressed the brethren with the same words; and 
they were silent. Then the Blessed One said : " It may be, 
brethren, that you put no questions out of reverence for 
the teacher. Let one friend communicate with another.** 

And when he had thus spoken the brethren were silent. 
And Ananda exclaimed, *' How wonderful a thing is it, 
Lord, and how marvellous ! Verily, I believe that in this 
whole assembly of the brethren there is not one brother 
who has any doubt or misgiving as to the Buddha, or the 
truth, or the path." ' 

' /».. ». 38. 

' The Ketakkikt Smtia, on " Bairvnoess «nd Bondage" (voL xi, S, B. R.\, 
tieaches that a brother caanol become free from sptritaal burennes whBe 
ba bu Any doubt in ropect of tbe»e natlcn. 



THE BUDDHA. 



99 



len said the Tath5gata to the brethren : " Behold now, 
I exhort you, saying, ' Decay is inherent in all component 
things!' Workout your salvation with diligence ! " These 
were the last words of the Tathagata.' 

" Then the Blessed One entered into the first stage of 
deep meditation, and arising out of the first stage he 
passed into the second. And rising out of the second he 
passed into the third. And rising out of the third stage 
he passed into the fourth. And rising out of the fourth 
stage of deep meditation, he entered into the state of 
mind to which the infinity of space is alone present. And 
passing out of the mere consciousness of the infinity of 
^cc, he entered into the state of mind to which the 
inBnity of thought is alone present. And passing out of 
the mere consciousness of the infinity of thought he 
entered into a state of mind to which nothing at all was 
specially present. And passing out of the consciousness 
of no special object, he fell into a state between conscious- 
ness and unconsciousness. And passing out of the state 
between consciousness and unconsciousness, he fell into a 
state in which the consciousness both of sensations and 
af ideas had wholly passed away." 

And then the Blessed One passed back by the same 
stages in reverse order till he reached the first stage of 
deep meditation, whence he again passed into the second, 
third, and fourth stage of deep meditation : passing out 
of which last«he immediately expired.* 

This account of the mode in which Buddha expired is 
interesting as paralleling the negative or abstracting pro- 
cess" by which a conception of the Absolute is 
reached ; only there is no suggestion of the Nirvana, 
attainment of the Absolute by the Blessed 
One. The account is also interesting for the man- 

' Beokoftkt CreatDtcease, vi, 5-10. 

^ IHd., ri, 11-13. Compare with thU "The Great King of Glory." 
A'a/ra-SudasJdna-Sutla / vol xl, S. B. E.^ p. 247, etc, and egpocialljr 
p. a? I. etc., and p. 384, 

* Sec OHU, p. 73. 




100 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



ner in which it turns back just as one expects an 
account of Nirvana. Buddha's teachings did but make 
clear that Nirvana is a condition over which the law of 
causality, with its content of sorrow, death, and rebirth, 
has no sway.' In later Buddhist writings it is explicitly 
stated that Arahatship, the state of perfect enlightenment 
and detachment from the cravings of personality, is the 
attainment of Nir\'ana;' and with this the earlier books 
accord. But no light is thrown on the condition, existent 
or non-existent, conscious or unconscious, of the Arahat 
after death. This question was asked by Buddha's dis- 
ciples ; and the answer was that the Blessed One had not 
declared it.* That condition being a state beyond the 
pale of the law of causation, nothing might be predi- 
cated of it which might be predicated of life, except 
in this negative mode, that all shortcoming, suffer- 
ing, need, desire, is satisfied or quenched. But con- 
sciousness was one of the links in the chain of causation ; 
and whatever made up that passing delusion, human 
individuality, was also part of the same chain. Clearly, 
death released the Arahat from individuality, likewise 
from consciousness. Buddha's teaching pointed towards 
extinction, and perhaps so clearly, that the Blessed One 
never felt called on to declare more explicitly that which 
was the outcome of his system : if men understood not 
that, they understood nothing. The whole long round 
of suffering and rebirth led up to Arahatship, a condition 

' Tlus point, cle&r in the eariy writings, comes to explicit discussioa and 
statemeot ttter. e. g., in Qutxtions of King MiHnda, vi, 7, 13 tt teq, Nii^ 
Tana U uocaused, nnproduceable. Dot put together of anj qualitiea. 

' Qutitumt of King MiHnda, i, 41 ; ii. i ; U., a, 9 ; Nirvana is "a 
state o( mind to be realized and enjoyed by a man here, on this earth, is 
this life, and in this lile only." — Rhy»-Davids. 

' In the Sutta-Xij>ata, 343-357 (vol. x. S.B.E.), a venerable Bhikkhs 
asks Duddha whether the Bltikkn's teacher, who had gone to Ninrana, was 
blessed or not ; and whether he had been completely cxliogvisbed. or stUl 
retained some elements of existence. Buddha answers merely : " He c«l 
ofT the desire for name-and-furni in this world. Kanba's (Mara's) sircuit 
adhered to for a long time, he crossed i^mpletely Unh and deaUi." 



THE BUDDHA, 



lOI 



I 



of intellectual calm and consciousness of release, preced- 
ing actual release in the final extinction of that congeries 
of confections, that conscious " name-and-form " which is 
called a man.' Such result is not preposterous from the 
standpoint of the long-cumulating Indian yearning for 
release from mutability and that embodiment of it, the 
human individuality. Only to the western mind is the 
system purposeless in its issue, failing to show any ulti- 
mate reason for any existence or becoming, or for any 
objectless law of causality to mould the whole pointless 
round. The best which can be is but the same as never 
to have been.' 

The life of the man Gotama, the teachings of the 
Buddha, represent the sole true consequent ideal of 
Indian thought. Out of pity, in a world of suf--.. _ . 
fcringthc taught through many years. Like- 
wise shall his disciples wander for the sake of men. In 
itself this pity, which exceeded that of all the Indian 
l^ods, was not effectual. The highest of beings, the holy 
and absolute Sambuddha, the scU-cnlightcned man, the 
Perfect One, at whose feet the gods fell down, could only 
point out the way. The disciple must rely on himself. 
" Brother, thou shalt betake thyself to no external refuge, 

' But along lioot of lodion subjcctirity, it may be that the ArahaCs per- 
fect desire of release from individualily effects or is such a n-lcasc, 

* This outcome of the Blessed One's system M-as recognized only in India. 
Not in such guise might Ttnddhiiim promiilgAte itself in other lands. Not 
•11 oE Asia would appreciate the strcnuoufi intellectual character of the 
fyitem. nor all of Aaib be satisfied with buch sahation. Transfonned into 
Stnngc transform nlions, frequently sensuous and unsptritual, adapted to the 
differeat times and countries, "Buddhism" evoh'ed satisfactions of men's 
need of gods to pray to and of some life to come. Curiously changeil in their 
toQg journeys were the teachings which were carried across the Hiniala)'as. 
into the role of Kashmir, the mountain jungle of Ne{)al, the snow-land oC 
Hiibet, and sowed throughout the Celestial Kingdom, Tartary, Corea, and 
Japan. For the historj- of Buddhism in India and of ' ' Northern Buddhism " 
Outside of India, see Kem, Buddhiitttui i Bumouf, Inirodutti^n a !' His' 
tfirf de BuiiJhismt fmfien ; Koeppcn, Lamaitche Hierarckie ; Vasselief, 
U BcuJJMismt ; Schlagintweit, Buddhttm in Thihtt ; Tk* Lotus of tht 
Trme Lavt, vol. xxi. Sacred Books of the East, 



103 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



Self is the Lord of Self." No hardier thought has the 
human mind conceived than this of the human being, 
without a god, working out his own salivation, even though 
that salvation were but a ceasing to suffer. Buddha's 
teaching offered salvation only to hearts wearied beyond 
hope. It announced release from suffering, an ideal of 
alas, alas, for life ! 'T is sorrow ! Let us have done 
with it ! 

Indian thought and Indian mood as issuing in Buddh- 
ism set forth, in lofty and consistent modes, elements of 
truth. The systems which contained them were warnings 
for all time that by these paths of abandonment men 
shall advance neither to God nor to the perfecting of 
themselves. 

What a man thinks and strives for, that he is. A 
spiritual truth is this when limited to modes of that 
which desires and thinks, that is, to modes of spiritual 
being. By indulgence, the evil desire is not slaked, but 
roused. Man can satisfy himself with nothing transitory 
or finite; nowhere and never shall he escape the result of 
his deed : the good deed shall profit him ; for the evil 
deed must he atone. These were the Indian elements of 
truth. 

Man cannot live by bread alone ; neither shall he by 
starvation. There is no virtue in pointless renunciation ; 
and no sure attainment in renunciation misdirected tow- 
ards an end impossible and unreal. Not human life 
alone, but all life, is a process of differentiation and 
development of individuals. Individuality is the basis 
of human completion, and must fulfil itself through acts 
and desires, love and attachment, and yearnings manifold. 
with all the pain connected with the apparently transient 
state in which the individual lives on earth. And in 
conceptions of eternal life beyond, unmergcd individual- 
ity must subsist if there shall be continuance and 
perfecting of the highest conceivable elements of being. 
India, in Bnhm«iusm, then with more open eye. in 



THR BUDDHA, 103 

Buddhism, abandoned as worthless, or as painful, the 
content of men's lives on earth ; then, scorning individual- 
ity as the veriest mode of change and death, it abandoned 
the existence of the human individual, the basis of all 
Ufe, the only means whereby that which transcends the 
human individual may be reached. Man cannot gain 
God unless man continue to exist himself. Indian 
thought reaches not conclusions, but — catastrophes. The 
Absolute All-One, — Brahma and the Atm& which was It, — 
was the £rst leap into the void ; the second was Nirvana. 



CHAPTER V. 



IRAN. 



The Home. 



THE valley o( Ferghana, through which runs the 
Jaxartes when its streams have united, the plateau 
of Pamir whence flow the chief tributaries of the 
Oxus, and the mountains and valleys between Ferghana 
and Pamir were included in the provinces of Sogdiana 
and Bactriana ; and somewhere in these regions, 
where in Alexander's time survived a spirit 
brave and free, was the first home of the Iranian race. 
It was not a land to spoil its dwellers with gentle- 
ness. Cold were its winter snows, burning its summer 
suns. Yet abundant har\'ests would it yield to toil. 
Tradition places here Airyana Vaejah, that blessed land 
to which a]] people would hasten, had not Ahura Mazda 
set in each race a love of its own home. Yet the Evil 
Spirit had made ten months of winter there.' 

In this ancient Aryan land, Aryan and Iranian were 
once the same. If the race began and multiplied amid 
the sources of the Jaxartes, it could not extend itself to 
the cast where mountain ranges rose above the line of 
snow. This people would likely press southwcstwardly 
through the valleys of the Alai range, and follow down 
tributaries of the Oxus to where the main stream of the 
river issues from Pamir. It pushed across the Oxus, then 
followed up the southern tributaries which descend from 
the northern sides of the western Hindoo Kush where the 
range b broken and passes lead over the mountains down 

104 



IRAN, 



105 



The Aresta 
People. 



to India, whither proceeded the portion of the Aryan race 
that was to become Indian. Other passes lead southwest- 
wardly to the Persian desert. And without crossing the 
ranges a far path was open to the west, of which also the 
race availed itself; for a strip of fertile land extends from 
the Hindoo Kush to the Alburz mountains and the Cas- 
pian Sea, leading through the provinces of Media and 
Atropatene. To the north lie the Turcoman steppes, 
to the south the Persian desert. Those portions of the 
race that remained in the old home, or, having reached 
the Hindoo Kush, passed southwestwardly towards old 
Persis or westwardly towards Media, may be regarded as 
the Iranian folk. 

The Avesta, or rather that part of it which the Gathas 
constitute,' is the earliest record of this people. Therein 
they appear as bands of men and women held 
together by the same faith.' Their religious 
zeal seems not unconnected with change from 
nomad to agricultural life. For agriculture and the rais- 
ing of cattle have become sacred duties, and the enemies 
of the Avesta folk are nomads, godless unbelievers, who 
harm the cattle and do not till the earth. The Avesta 
people also call themselves " Arj'ans," and there comes 
mention of the " Aryan lands'* and '* the home of the 
Aryans,"' and also of " non- Aryan peoples."* So, 

* The most available traoslations of the Avesla are those by Darmesteter 
and MiiU in vols, iv, xxiii. and xxJti of the Sofred Books of the East, and 
the later French transtation by Darmesteter in vols. 21-33 of AHnaUstiu 
Miu/eCuimet. There is another French translationi by de Harlez. The 
traiulntions of the Gatkaj ( Vasna, 88-34, 43~5i> 53) ^^e not to be lelied on. 
MiU^'s tranidation contains much not In the original ; and Darmc&teter's is 
vitiated becaose of his view of the late composition of the GatAas. Portions 
of the Gathas are more surely, but somewhat un intelligibly . rendered by 
Geldner in numbers of Kuhn's Zrittekrijt and Bczzenbei^r's Beitrdge. 

•SecGeiger, Ostiraniscke KuHur^ p. 166. 

*Tbe tuime survived in Ariana, and the modem name Iran is not unrelated. 
Herodotus, vii, 63, says that in earlier times the Medes were called Arj'sns. 
Aa the Vedic Indians speak of themselves a« Arja, the name Aryan must 
hive existed when Indians and Iranians were one race. 

' Yaaht, xriii, % ;'xix» 68. 



106 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



besides the religious, there is with them a race feeling, 
the sense of Aryan blood; and their enemies were nomads 
mostly of other race, but with Aryans among them who 
would not accept the Avesta faith. These nomads were 
robbers of cattle and men. A place where the earth feels 
sorest grief is that where " the wife and child of one of 
the faithful are driven along the way of captivity, the dry 
and dusty way and lift up a voice of wailing." ' 

Socially and politically the people of xXta Avesta resem- 
ble the Vedic Aryans. Lands and cattle were their chief 
possessions; money they had none. Houses of great and 
low were simple. Their food was plain ; they drank milk, 
and perhaps freely of fermented liquor. A well-formed 
race, bodily strength was prized among them; a man 
should be tall and broad-chested, his eye bright and pierc- 
ing. These are qualities to mark a king, who should also 
excel in high insight. Women should be beautiful, tall, 
with fair skin and shapely bosom, chaste and of good 
repute. 

A prophet arose to this people, Zarathushtra. The 
record of his faith, the Zend-Avesta, was composed dur- 
ing the course of centuries. Much therein 
regarding him is later priestly formulation. 
But in the Avesta hymns, the Gatfias^ Zara- 
thushtra is a very real, brave man, with a high thought 
which he is struggling to make into a people's faith. A 
prophet's mind is his, a prophet's misgivings, a prophet's 
trust. One cannot doubt that to this picture of striving 
manhood there corresponded a great original. 

Prophets who establish faiths must needs live what 
their lips utter. The Buddha is a perfectly enlightened 
being, serene and sure from the beginning of his teach- 
ing: for him there is no further struggle — nor attainment; 
all is reached. The Iranian prophet is nearer the reality 
of human life; misgivings and discouragement, contend- 

* Vtnd., iii., ti. See Gciger, OttiramiMcMe JCuUm^^ pp. 176-19^ So np 
10 our times btTc Tarcomaos carried off Feiriim, 



Zumthuli- 
tm. 



/jfAJir, 



107 



ings with them, bringing fuller knowledge of Ahura^ 
extend through the career of prophethood and passionate 
reform to)d in the GaiJias. The life of Zarathushtra, as 

■Pthese heartfelt psalms suggest it, is the very grand, con- 
" Crete forthsetting of the spirit and principles of the Avesta 
religion. 

^P It has come to more than one inspired prophet of the 
foretime, in the course of his prophetic ministrj%to see the 
purpose of his life set in an opening vision of his god and 
of his call. " And I beheld Jehovah, high and lifted up, 
heard the seraph voices — holy, holy, holy!" Then ring 
the words " Whom shall I send? " which overmaster 
Isaiah's sense of sin and unworthiness. "Send me!" 
answers the prophet's life.' So also answered the life of 
Zarathushtra. It accords with the sense of revelation and 
of call that the prophet's life should be throughout respon- 
sive to his god, a communion, a seeking of instruction 
from him, and power and aid. Like Isaiah's, Zara- 
thushtra's life is moulded on his thought of God; and in 
its seeking always unto him, knowing no other law, no 
other pattern, the life of Zarathusthtra appears Hebraic 
rather than Aryan. 

P There is a Gathic hymn in which, as from a later period 
of his career, Zarathushtra looks back upon his early vi- 
sions. The working spirit of his faith is in the prophet's 
mind: " May men, following the laws of Ahura's Good 
Thought, work beneficence, and receive the supreme 
reward here and hereafter; and especially may the teach- 
ers of righteousness so be rewarded. Yea, the reward 
be mine!' And I will hold thee as mighty and benefi- 
cent in the justice to be rendered to the good and to the 
evil, and in the coming of the might of Good Thought 
to me."' Hereupon the assurance of Ahura's justice- 
rendering might recalls to the prophet's memory his vi- 
sion of judgment to be accomphshcd at the final day: 
\nd I knew Thee as an holy one when I beheld Thee 



> Isaiah vi. 



; an holy 
• Ysu., xliii, 1-3. 



'A. 4. 



io8 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



bringing to pass retribution for the wicked, reward for the 
good, at the world's last change, when Thou, holy spirit 
Mazda, shalt appear with the power of Right Order 
(Khshathra) and with Good Thought (Vohu Mano) 
through whose working men increase in Righteousness 
(Asha)/" 

Now the prophet sees again the sharper later vision^ 
which was his caJ] to a career of militant allegiance: 
" And I knew Thee as an holy one, Ahura Mazda, when 
Thou didst appear to me with Good Thought, asking. 
Who art thou ? To whom dost thou belong ? And I 
straightway answered, Zarathushtra. A foe will I be to' 
the unbeliever, but a strong help to the righteous, that 
I may reach heaven. I praise and worship Thee, O 
Mazda!*' • 

** And I knew Thee as an holy one, O Mazda, when Thou 
with Good Thought didst appear, and to my questions as. 
to Thy acceptance of my service and my sacrifice, and how ' 
I might understand Thy Truth (Asha), didst make answer: 
Thou shalt see my Asha. Make question as thou wilt.** ' 

"And I knew thee as an holy one, Ahura Mazda, 
when appearing with Good Thought Thy words revealed 
assaults of men brought on me through my devotion to 
that which Thou hast declared to be the bt*st. Zara- 
thushtra chooses for himself every holy spirit of thine." ' 

Thus out of the struggles of his career, the prophet 
realizes the import of its opening visions. They are the 
lyric note, of which his life was rendering out the story. 
And the Gathas tell this story, yet in a lyric way. For j 
they utter only crisis-notes. It is difficult to connect and 
set them in the circumstances of their utterance; yet they 
suggest a period of preparation, a period, as it were, of 
gathering strength and clearer insight, of cumulating 
impulse becoming mastering purpose, all leading up to 

»^*..S.«. •/•., 7. 8. "/J..?. lo. 

'/^., II, i6. For tniutaUoa of Yas., iliii, see GeMner in Kuhn'i Zeit' 
Hkri/t, 1890. p. 316. 



IRAX. 



log 



The 

Aanoancc- 

meot. 



( 

to. 



to 



the call when the man becomes the prophet. He has 
been long finding his god : now has his god found him. 
Ahura's efficient spirit, Good Thought, says to Ahura, 
the supreme Lord Wisdom, "One man only have I found 
who will hear Thy instruction and with accordant mind 
teach men Thy law and declare the faith of Mazda." ' 
So sounds the prophet call within this man who is but 
arathusthra. In first response from those who might 
ave seemed in direst need of him, there comes 
murmur of distrust.' Many a sterile word 
ihall he utter to understandings lost through 
evil.' But he is stanch in the faith within him 
and the assurance of the truth he preaches, — the conflict 
to the death between the good and evil principle, the 
triumph of good, and the resurrection of the just. He 
cries in the assembly, "Hear with your ears, and con- 
sider, that we, each for himself, man and woman, may 
choose against the final day when everyone shall receive 
the reward of his choice." * 

Zarathushtra's conviction of the verity of what he 
preached and of the lordship of Ahura was so intense 
and eager, so finely felt out to its full conclusions, that 
he could not but hold other religions false, and seek to 
uproot them. His religion was a reform; it was also a 
new spiritual creation. As universally intended ' as 
[Buddhism, it was as militant as Islam. For militancy lay 
in its dogma of the conflict of good with the evil, which 
the good does not convert, but destroys. Zarathushtra 
adjures his disciples to keep themselves from unbelievers 
and shut their ears against the lying ignorance of such as 
would bring death and ruin sheer to house and village. 
Nay, hew then down with the sword!* '* To him who 
would deceive the just shall hereafter be groanings, long 
abode in darkness, noisome food and insult. To such a 



» Yas., wdx. 7, 8. 

■ />., xxxi ; </. Isaiah v(, g. 




*/»., XXX, 3. 

' Cf. ii., xxxi, 3 ; xlvi, la. 

*/i.,xxxi, 17, i8. 



tto 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



lot, ye wicked, your works and your religion shall bring 
you ! " ' While on the righteous shall Ahura and hts min- 
isters bestow all blessing." 

It could not be but that the prophet of such a faith 
would soon experience the woes and buffets which his 
early vision had foretold. He has his followers 
f th F th ^"^ supporters, among whom is a king, Vishta- 
spa; but some of his own family or caste are 
hostile,* and opposing teachers confound the progress of 
his work : ' * The false teacher thwarts my doctrine and my 
life's object through his teachings; he hinders desires for 
righteousness. This I bewail to thee, Mazda and Asha. 
And that man thwarts my doctrine who hates the herds 
and destroys the herbage, and hurls his mace against the 
righteous. . . . Surely thou wilt do the very best to 
aid the endeavors of thy faithful one, thou who art 
stronger than him who threatens my destruction, if I 
assemble my beloved people to take vengeance on the 
unbelievers,"* 

So it comes to fighting, and sometimes the battle goes 
against the prophet: " To what land shall I turn, whither 
carry my prayer ? Followers and kinsmen forsake me, 
tny neighbors wish me ill, and the wicked tyrants of the 
land. How can I advance thy cause, Ahura ? I am 
powerless, stripped of herds and men. I cry to thee 
Help me, as a friend a friend. Thy counsel, I-ord. I 
choose." " Then, as if addressing men, he speaks : " He 
who does not move to aid the righteous, works for the 
Evil One; he shall go to perdition. That one is wicked 
who succors the wicked ; that one is righteous who 
befriends the righteous. This is thy law, Ahura." * And 

• lb., ao. 

" /*., 31. 

* Thti vottid reftdny hmve been the case supposing Zunthtuhtn to licve 
been a MagUo, that is, & iDember of a priestly cute or tribe, whp wu id- 
troducing innontions. 

* Koi. , xxxii, g. lo, 16. Geldaer's reiMleriiig in Kubn's Ztittehrift, 1U6. 

• ru..xlTi, l-> •/*.. 5. 6. 



//!^X. 



XII 



I 



» 



» 



the prophet prays for the overthrow of his evil enemies, 
and promises paradise to those who aid him. 

Towards the end it seems as if the righteous cause 
had triumphed. These prayers of Zarathushtra have 
been answered, and he prays that blessings and eternal 
life may come to such as may thereafter be converted. 
"And Zarathushtra, he makes offering of his life. He 
gives to Mazda's spirits the guidance of his acts and 
words."' So is it through his consecrated life. In 
danger, discouragement, misgiving, he loolcs to Ahura 
for aid and enlightenment.' He seeks unto no other law, 
no other wisdom ; would conform his life in all respects 
to Ahura's commands and Ahura's nature ; would resemble 
him and teach others that resemblance,' — wherein is 
righteousness, wherein is belonging to the kingdom of 
the good, the realm of life, the portion of final resurrec- 
tion. 

The religion which Zarathushtra pressed on men was a 
dualism which looked forward across the plain of warfare 
to the final triumph of good over evil, life over 
death. Its supreme lord of good, Ahura Maz- 
da, Lord Wisdom, with the attendant personifi- 
cations of his attributes, or rather of human virtues 
regarded as the creations of Ahura, constituted a concep- 
tion grand and spiritual. No explanation of it beyond 
the personality of Zarathushtra has passed the stage of 
hypothesis. The mode, however, of the apprehension 
of this religion has no Indo-Gcrmanic parallel ; for all is 
conceived as revelation and subsequent continuous, 
almost indwelling, enlightenment from God to his pro- 
phet. Neither would its ethical conceptions appear to 
have Indo-Germanic parallel, inasmuch as they remain 
contained within the nature, the creative power, and the 

* Vas., xxxiii, 14. 

' b«e Vas. , xxviii. 6, 7 ; xe»U. 7. 8 ; xxxiv. I3, 13 ; xlri, 6 : xiriii, 9-f i ; 
1.16. 
■See Yas., xxxi, 16, 23 ; xliv, I. etc, <•/. xxtiii, 4 ; xtTiii. 3 ; «lix. 6 ; I. 6. 



Religiotta 
Dualism. 




112 



ANCTENT IDEALS. 



The Two 

Spirits. 



ways of Ahura Mazda, and do not tend toward the evo- 
lution of a conception of ethical law based on the nature 
of things, and not dependent on the will and power of 
a personally conceived god. Consequently, moral wrong, 
transgression, wickedness, remain, strictly speaking, sin; 
for the ways and nature of Ahura remain the standard 
of alt righteousness. 

"Now shall I preach, and do you give car and hear, 
ye who hither press from near and from afar; therefore 
lay ye all these things to heart as clear, nor 
let the wicked teacher your second life destroy 
— the perverted sinner your tongues with his 
false faith. 

"Now shall I preach of the world's two primal spirits, 
the holier one of which did thus address the evil : 'Neither 
do our minds, our teachings, nor our concepts, nor our 
beliefs, nor words, nor do our deeds in sooth, nor yet 
our consciences nor our souls agree in aught.' " ' 

These two spirits encountered at the first creation, the 
one bringing life, the other death; and even so will it be 
to the world's end. The wicked spirit chooses to cause 
evil, the beneficent spirit chooses to cause good. The 
demons and their worshippers have not chosen righteous- 
ness, but evil.' In the end the good spirit shall conquer, 
and reward with blessedness his righteous ones.' There 
can be no onlookers at this strife; each man must choose 
his side; he who chooses Mazda must fight the righteous 
fight against evil conduct and evil men. The righteous- 
ness of Zarathushtra had no benevolence towards the 
enemies of himself and his religion. They were followers 
of the evil spirit; he dwelt in them. Kindness towards 
them favored evil,* and so was sin in its opposition to the 
nature of Ahura. But Zarathushtra had no thought of 

' Yas.. xlv. I. 3 (A. V. W. JiLckAaa's traosUtioo) ; (/. Yv.^ xn, j-6. 

• Ya*., Kxx, 4-6. 

• See Yas., x%x and xl». a. ew. 

• Set Ko/., uxi. 14, 15 ; uxii, 10 ; noiti, 9, 3 ; xIt, IX ; xWi{, 4. 



limiting his faith to a single people ; others might accept 
it and fulfil its righteousness.* 

The first demand of Mazdaism is to follow It, protect, 
and extend it.' But Ahura and his ministers were right- 
eous, beneficent, and just. So his religion Righteous- 
made like demands on its adherents; perdition ness of 
awaited the oppressor and the unjust judge,' ***'*^*''™; 
and those who maltreated the cattle.* Ahura Ahura. 
was the giver of life, the creator of all good ; his demands 
on men included righteousness ; nor was he satisfied with 
the hypocrite's professions, but demanded works.' 

Probably a worship of natural phenomena prevailed in 
Iran in Indo-Iranian times. Ahura Mazda likely was 
once a god of the sky.' In the Gatkas there remains but 
faint suggestion of his origin.' He has become the Lord 
Wisdom, the creator of mankind and all things good,' 
the source or parent of all personified auxiliary or medi- 
ating divine principles. Ahura's activity, creative and 
beneficent, is that of spirit and intelligence : " Since thou, 
O Mazda, in the beginning for us our beings and con- 
sciences hast formed and our intelligence through thine 
own mind, since thou madest life clothed with a body, 
since thou gavcst us the works and words whereby one 
freely may express his belief." ' Ahura is the creator and 
fosterer of all righteousness, and the bringer to pass of 
the reward of righteousness in his followers in the life to 
come, after the final overthrow of evil. And he is holy, 
that is, pure of evil, severed from it, the efficient power 
which works towards severance from it, towards holiness. 
The man who is holy and works righteousness^ for him 

• Cf. Yaj., xKi. 12. 

, ■ S«e Vas., xxviii, (t-8 ; xhriU, 6 ; xUx, 5. 
^K* Vas., xxxii, 10-14 : ^f^* 2> 3* 
^P^See Va^., xxix ; xxxii, 12, 14. 
' See yas., xxxi, 10 ; xxxiv, 9. 

• See Darmwteter, Z^ J>ifu Su^hru des Indc-Europ^ens, Revtu dfs Re* 
SgicHi, 1S80 ; ond Darmeiteter, Ormatd anJ Ahriman, pattim. 

^E.g. Yat., xxx.j. 'See Kaj.,ipuci, 13. •/J., 11. 

vou t.— e 



114 



ANCIE/i,'T IDEALS. 



The Am- 
shaspanda. 



there is no death hereafter, but only for the wiclted,' those 
whose lives oppose Ahura's purpose, which is the effectu- 
ating of his righteous nature. For such awaits the por- 
tion of death;' which also is a consequent self -effecting 
of the nature of evil. 

Ahura's nature, character, and ways are revealed in the 
Amesha-spcntas or Amshaspands, the personified spirit- 
ual powers through which his purposes arc 
effected. Inasmuch as the Amshaspands are 
Ahura's creations, they must represent his 
nature. But the point of departure of the process of 
personification is humanity or nature — the creation, not 
the creator. The Amshaspands arc personifications of 
qualities which Ahura has created in mankind and nature. 
They are thus personifications of created principles of 
good operative In the creation,' and appear as personifica- 
tions of (i) human virtues and (2) the vital powers of 
natural life. The first are four in number: Vohu Mano, 
which signifies "Good Thought" from the intellectual as 
well as from the moral point of view ; Asha Vahista, which 
signifies "Holiness,*' or " Perfect Virtue " or " Right- 
eousness"; Khshathra vairya, the power, especially the 
kingly power, which accomplishes the way of good in 
social and political order, the genius of good government; 
Spenta-Armaiti, " Perfect Thought, * * thought which 
stands for a right attitude of piety and submission to 
Ahura. This fourth Amshaspand is feminine, and ap- 
pears related to an anterior naturalistic conception of an 
earth spirit. The fifth and sixth, " Health " and " No- 
death," represent long life and health and material 
welfare.* 

' Yas., xxix, 5. 

• Yas., XXX, 8-11. 

'Consider, t. g,^ Vu., xxxi, l ; Maxdft reigns u Vohu Muio (Good 
Thought) iticreases. i*. /., in men. 

*The ahove explanation of th« nanus of the Anuhaspands is mainly Dar- 
mesteier's ja vol. I of his Avrsta {Amtales dm Mmtr4 Gmimtt, roU ai)» p. 



IRAN. 



The Gathic 
Ideal. 



Over against Ahura and the Amshaspands stand the 
primeval spirit of destruction and his creation of evil 
demons and all deadly things. But the co-ordination of 
^pthe evil spirit with Ahura is tiot forever. In the end 
* evil shall be annihilated, and Ahura come to all-compre- 
hensive exclusive supremacy. Then will there be no 
power beside him^ death having been destroyed. 

The nature of Ahura and the Amshaspands outlines 
the Gathic ideal for men. The Mazda worshipper prayed 
for the good things of this life,' and for active 
and spiritual righteousness which brings weal 

»on earth and happiness in the world to come." 
'' With hands stretched out I pray to fulfil all good works, 
the first law of Mazda, the good spirit ; and for the under- 
standing of Good Thought. ... I who come to 
thee, O Mazda, with Good Thought, that thou mayst 
grant me in the two worlds, that of the body and that 
of the spirit, the benefits gained by righteousness, by 
which Ahura places in happiness them that delight him; 
I who give myself to thee, O Righteousness, and to him 
who is the first, Good Thought, and to Ahura Mazda, 
to whom belong Sovereignty not to be overthrown and 
Good Piety's increase: come at my call for my joy ! I 
who open Paradise, Good Thought effecting it, and the 
divine rewards for works done in knowledge of Ahura 
Mazda. As many as I may I seek to teach to seek the 
good. . . . Come with Good Thought, O Righteous- 
ness! give the gifts which last eternally! '" 
^P This devoted and spiritual prayer expresses the proph- 
et's desires and the Mazdan ideal. Yet Zarathushtra 
fell short of Israel's faith. He might not expand his 
conception of Ahura to the all-comprehensiveness of God, 
within the unsearchableness of whose purpose is place for 
all this world's apparent evil. Dualism is a rough ration- 
alistic explanation of the riddle, whose solution only 




*See K«j.. xxxiii, lo ; li. 2. 
'See yi«.,xxxiv, 1-4. 



* Yas., xxviii, 1-6. 



Ii6 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



Israel could leave to her heart's assurance that JehovaK 

was sole Lord. 

It sometimes happens that of a race whose capacities of 

growth and spiritual apprehension are not yet dead, there 

is bom a man with power to discern the reality 

The Propb- ^^^ spiritual import veiled in the shows of 

et and the , . ' , ., , t -i t 

Later Time ^"'"^^ and the thoughtlessness of custom. 

The race has reached certain conceptions of 
man and of his environment which breathes with spirit 
and divinity. These thoughts are purified from their 
fetish dross in the prophet's mind, and become possessed 
of further truth because released of errors. And to this re- 
creation of his race's thought he adds elements from his 
own inspirations. New thought has been bom. It shall 
live because of the immortality of truth. Yet its liv- 
ing entails a giving up of self, a loss of its own purity 
in its leavening work. In the process of its apprehen- 
sion by the mass of men it is corrupted and reladen 
with dross. 

So was it with the thought of Zarathushtra. He took 
the conceptions of his race, or rather perhaps of his caste 
or priestly tribe, and freed them from their imbecilities. 
Then he builded with them, adding the keystones ever 
from the inspiration within him. Thus was his system 
formed, his lofty dualism: the Lord Wisdom and the 
true Principles of insight and accordance with Ahura, 
which work his work within the souls of men thereby 
transformed to soldiery for good. Opposed to these, the 
dark Evil Spirit interjecting that sufficiency of evil to 
account for sin and pain and death. But Zarathushtra 
did not entirely free his mind from prevalent modes of 
apprehending man's duties of sacrifice' and worship; and 
it is difficult to distinguish between the lower, unspiritual 
elements which he may have taken over into his religion 
from the cults about him, and that debasing of his teach- 
ing which resulted through its apprehension by the mass 



TRAlf, 



PBrity. 



of men and by the priestly caste.' At all events, what- 
ever lower elements Zarathushtra retained would be held 
and added to and heaped upon with rite and ceremony. 
And because his teaching as a whole was too spiritual for 
popular or priestly apprehension, it was necessary that 
some definite principle thereof should be taken and mate- 
rialized, and then formulated in precept and observance 
suited to the understanding of right conduct by unspirit- 
ual men. 

The principle thus taken was a part expression of Zara- 
thushtra's dualism, indeed a mode in which the universal 
conflict might be apprehended, which Zara- 
thushtra, not regarding false, may have taken 
from priestly usages. The Gatkas contain the precept: 
purity (yaosddo) is, after birth, the first good for man." 
Whatever meaning the prophet may have given this word, 
to the later Avesta religion it became a material concep- 
tion with ethical or spiritual connotations. In the Vai- 
didad it means ** cleanliness," freedom from physical 
impurity,' as determined by rules prescribed in that 
book: " Purity is for man, after birth, the first good; 
that purity which is in the religion of Mazda, the purity 
of the man who purifies himself with good thoughts, 
good words, and good deeds." * Impurity or uncleanness 
lies in the presence of elements of the evil creation — the 
presence of dise^tse which makes for death, above all, the 
presence of death itseif. The most impure, contagious 
object is the corpse, which the corpse-demon enters when 
life is extinct. He fastens on those who touch it, and 






• There soon comes in the later Avesta the magic mystic thoughts regsrd- 
Mcrifice ; that thereby the worshipper strengthens the good against the 

demon (see Yoikt^ viii, 23, ttitg.) and geU immortality for himself (see 
Yatkt, ix-zi). But these ideas may well have been centuries older than 
Zarathushtra. He did not condemn divinatiou. C/.^ y<M.,xxxi, 3; xlvU. 6. 

• Yas.. xlviii, 5. 

' See Darmesteter, Introduction to voL U of his Apesia (vol. 8S of 
Annalts du Alujie Guimtt)^ p. x, ttttq, 

• Vtnd.. T, 21. 




1I» 



ANCIENT WEALS. 



must be expelled, or rendered powerless by rites.* A 
corpse must not be allowed to defile the holy elements, 
fire, earth, or water ; hence must not be burned, nor 
buried, nor cast into the river, but laid on the top of a 
mountain, with a layer of stones to separate it from the 
earth.' Not all corpses defile, but only those of men 
and of animals belonging to the good creation of Ahura. 
Animals created by Angro Mainyu, as the snake or tor- 
toise, were embodied death while they lived; their death 
is itself purification; to kill them is a holy deed.' 

The principles of Zarathushtra's Mazdaism were as of 

course gradually committed to detailed formulation in 

commands and prohibitions, which, while hold- 

u^ion *"S ^^^^ ^^ h'gh regard for honesty and truth.* 

assumed peculiar character through certain 

rules of the religion, especially those relating to impurity 

and the sacredncss of dogs. Evil deeds continued such 

as made for Angro Mainyu, the Evil Principle, and 

extended the empire of the demon.' Most sins might 

be expiated by submitting to prescribed penalties, which 

release the sinner from punishment after death.' 

Indeed, the Avesta religion based its sanctions mainly 
on the results of acts to the doer in the life to come. 
Mightily it held to a resurrection unto heaven 
or hell; a thought which inclined towards tak- 
ing plastic form in the late picture' of the 



The Resar- 
rectiofl. 



" Vend.^v, 37 ; Yiii, 33, 34. 

' Sec Vend., vi, 44, etc. ; riij, 20, etc. It wu inexpiable sin to defile 
the holjr elements with dead matter ; Irat a man does not sin by doing it 
Bnbnowingly. yemd., t, i, etc. 

• Vend.. V, 35. etc 

* Vend,, iv, is deroted to contracts and assaults. Elsewhere it is said : 
" Break no contract, neither the one thoa hast made vrith a failhlc&t man, 
nor one made with a just believer. — YasMI, s, 3. Desolate is the abode tk 
perjnren and marderers. — /?., 38. 

• See the curious later notion of Vend., xriii, 30. ti seq. 

* See Darmestctcr, Introduction to vol. ii {vol. » of Mtu^ Cuimet), p. 
xri. etc. There were ineipiable crimes, /. /., burning a cocpte. 

' Voikt, XX, I, etieg. 



IRAN, 



"9 



faithful soul greeted after death by his Religion, in the 

person of a fair maid advancing towards him 'midst flowers 

and perfumes; she tells him who she is, speaks of his 

righteous life, and how it helped the faith: " I — Religion 

— was lovely, and thou madcst me more lovely; I was 

beautiful, and thou madest me more beautiful; to be 

desired, and thou madcst me more to be desired, and 

advanced me, by thy good thoughts, good words, and 

I til 
acts. 

^pFrom infomnation given by contemporary inscriptions 

and by Greek writers, especially Herodotus,' it is evident 

that the religion and customs of the Persians 

of the fifth century before Chirst present corre- Zarathush- 

spondcnces with the Avesta. The God of t""«n» 

and the 
Darius's Bchistun inscription is Aura-Mazda, Medea and 

and Herodotus says that the Persians sacri- Persians, 
ficcd to Jupiter as the circle of the firmament. 
They appear also to have believed in a resurrection; and 
there was dualism in their thought of the conflict and 
alternate reigns of Ormazd and Ahriman, the latter suc- 
cumbing in the end.' The elements, fire, water, and 
earth, were holy. The Persians did not burn their dead, 
nor bury them till torn by beasts ; * their mode of sacrifice 
was not out of accord with the Avesta. And finally in 

' The soul then advances to Paradise. The expeiietice of the evil soul is 
in every detail the exact reverse. Certain features of the rcsorrection life 
■re mentioned in the Gathas'. there is the Cinvat Bridge, over which a 
righteous following of the religion of Maida opens Iheway^ — Kax., ilvi, lo ; 
and there would seem lo be reference to a bath of molten fire, out of which 
righteous sooIe come unscathed. See Yoj., xxz, ii ; xxxiv, 4 ; li, 9. 

» I, 130-140, 

• Thcopompas. 

* Perrat (vol. v, p. fiyx,HisioirtdtVArtdansVAntiquM)-^\n^ otit that 
in the myal Persian rock-cut tombs little attention was paid to the sepulchral 
vault. It was :rmall and unomamcQted inside, and not protected with great 
care,— directly the reverse of the way of an Egyptian tomb. This comports 
with what Herodotus says ; and the Attitn does not forbid burning the 
hones when they have been stripped of flesh. The Sassanian kings were 
itanch Zoroastrians, and had like lomba. Their purpose was on their ex- 
terior face to tell the king's fanooi deeds, rather than guard his body. 




130 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



social ethics the correspondence is striking ; Herodotus' 
Persians as well as the Avesta folk care supremely for 
truth, for agriculture, and for the welfare and increase 
of the family. It is certain that the Avesta and the 
customs of the Acha:mcnian Persians were not unre- 
lated.* 

The Medes were a kindred race. Theirs was an earlier 
and more considerable culture; and their power was at its 
height while the Persians were a rude mountain people 
under Median suzerainty. The Magi were the priestly 
tribe of the Medes, and became the hereditary priesthood 
of the Persians when the latter had fought the Modes and 
established political supremacy over them. Apparently 
wherever Persian religious customs resemble those of the 
Avesta, the resemblance between the customs of the 
Magi and the Avesta is more certain and more definite.' 
And since the Magi are known to have been the authori- 
tative priestly caste among the Persians, the conclusion 
is not unwarranted that the influence making for this 
resemblance came from the Magi.' The result is not 
affected by the circumstance that both Persians and 
Medes doubtless inherited a fund of ancient Aryan re- 
ligious conceptions, including a number of deities, among 
whom was Ahura. These considerations may dispose us 
to accept the definite ancient tradition that Zarathushtra 
was a Magian. 

' These manen areclouly preteoied by Danneneter in Introdnction lo 
voL iii of his Avesia, ch. v. 

* E, g,, Herod., i, 140, uys that it wai u.id that the Peniau never buried 
a body till it was torn by o dog or bird of prey, bat thai there wai no doubt 
of this being customary with the Magi. He thca mcniions the coiiou 
Magian ciuLum of killing; ants and snakes and other animals except the 
dog. The dog is the holiest beast of the Vendidad', and anakes belong to 
the evil ctcatioa. 

' So Hcrodotas saying that the custom of having the corpse torn by dogs 
or birds was practiced openly by the Magi, but secretly by the Fenians, 
would perhaps indicate that it was longer established with the former, and 
bad pressed itKlf to observance among the Persians only recently when 
HerodoCns wrote, and a^ntt the opposition of siLU existing p^ejudico^. 



IRAl 



131 



There is no longer need to delay over the extreme 
variance of the traditions as to the time of his birth. 
Iranian scholars seem now tending to agree 
upon the seventh century before Christ.* Con- Reform 
vcrscly, the intensely earnest, original charac- 
ter of the Gai/ms points close to the prophet for their 
source. Whatever liturgic use they were put to after- 
wards, there is no priestcraft nor accumulative legend in 
their composition. They bespeak thoughts pressing to 
first utterance; their references to circumstances are the 
incidental references of truth. Between the origination 
of these moving psalms in the mind of one of God's great 
ones.and theGathic expression of them, there has elapsed 
no time for sacerdotal formulation ; there has occurred no 
fall from spirit to observance.* If not from the lips of 
Zarathushtra, they sprang from the inspiration of his 
words, and may have cheered his followers and voiced 
their zeal to battle for the high new faith. 

Though Zarathushtra ivas a Magian, the religion of the 
Gathas was not the creation of a sacerdotal caste. Not 
the Roman Church, but Martin Luther, wrought the 
Reformation. Not an established priesthood, but a 
reforming, God-inspired priest, created the religion of the 
Gathas. That it was a new spiritual creation, its spirit 
seeking straight unto its god, is borne witness to by its 
freedom from dogmatic formulation and its militant 
enthusiasm; and there is confirmation in the absence of 
all reference to ancient usage, the miglity authority which 
would have been invoked had it existed. There is sug- 
gestion, indeed, that its reforms were not undirected 
against the abuses of an hereditarj^ priesthood.* At all 
events, the Gathic religion was a young winged steed 
which no priesthood had yet bestridden. 

* Sec A. v. Willums Jackson, " On the Dale of Zoroaster," y^umal of 
Ameritun Oriental Sffa'cfj-, vol. xvi. 

* Which is palp&blc in other parts of the Avista. 



mf rat., 



XXXI, 10 ; XXXIV, 9. 



AlfCIENT IDEALS, 



It would appear that the Magi accepted the new 
inspired faith. Zarathushtrianism certainly became the 
religion of Persia, and was ascribed to Zarathushtra ; and 
so the Magi could not have remained the Persian priest- 
hood without being Zarathushtrians. But when did the 
reform occur? If the new reformed religion had been 
universally accepted in the time of Herodotus, he likely 
would have mentioned the name of Zarathushtra. Yet 
his silence must not be given too much weight, for the 
fragments of Xanthus of Sardis, who is thought to have 
lived earlier, speak of Zoroaster as the founder of Magian 
doctrines;' and so afterwards do Plato and Aristotle. 
One may perhaps conclude that the reformed religion, 
preached by the prophet himself as early as the time of 
Cyrus,' was established through Persia and Media not 
later than the end of the fifth century before Christ. 

Thus it would seem that the great Aryan prophet 
offered his religion as a faith for men, and pressed his 
reforms at a period when the Persian race was 
The Per- coming to its rule. In this race are seen the 
. truthfulness and devoted bravery reflected in 
the Gatfias. The religion which the Persians 
were to hold sprang from the great personality 
of Zarathushtra. Likewise their rapid mastery of western 
Asia was due to the genius of one man quite as much as 
to their own valor; and to another man n'as due the firm 
establishment of the Persian Empire. Yet without strong 
ethical capacities in the Iranian race, the prophet Zara- 
thushtra would never have arisen among them, far less 

* Xanthns mentions Zeopoeiarpov Xoytaf and says that the Persiaas 
have received from hitn not to bum their dead or pollute fire. — Era^. tiitt. 
Grae. ed. MuUer, toI. i, p. 4a ; and <■/. Frag. 29. 

* That Cyrus was ac least do intolerantly exclusive worshipper of Ahtn 
Maida appears from his inscriptions in Babylonian Semitic relating to hit 
conquest o£ Babylonia— ^i-^<*rd^ 0/t/u Past. N. S., vol. v, p. 144, etc. Yet, 
as these inscriptions may have been a part expression of his purpoae oH rec* 
onciIiDg the Babylonians to his rale, their reference to Bel and Merodach 
would not prove that Cyrus did not worship Ahura Mazda, whote name does 
not occnr in them. 



si ana a.nd 
their Limi< 
tatioos. 



IRAff. 



123 



have brought them to accept his teaching. So, without 
great virtue in the Iranian people of rugged Persis, Cyrus 
would not have led them to imperial victories, nor Darius 
Hystaspes have organized the fruits thereof into a stable 
empire. 

The Persians accomplished their destiny along simple 
lines. Their destiny accomplished made plain their limi- 
tations. Before they came under the leadership of Cyrus, 
they were a rude, brave race of Aryan freemen, though 
they had been for many years under Median suzerainty. 
Their valor, directed by the genius of Cjtus, first turned 
the tables on the Medes, and the position of the two 
races was reversed, the Persians leading as the Medes had 
led, only far more potently, because of Cyrus. The era of 
Aryan supremacy was entered on, and before his death 
Cyrus was not only the conqueror but the ruler of west- 
ern Asia, including Asia Minor, with the Ionian cities 
along its coasts. 

After the intervening reign of Cambyscs, which added 
Egypt to the Persian Empire, and the usurpation of the 

bMagian Smerdis (Gaumata), which may have been a revo- 
lution in favor of the Medes or of the Magian priesthood, 
Darius, the son of Hystaspes, of the royal Persian blood, 
obtained the throne. lie was the Augustus who followed 
Cyrus. With energy and rare skill in the choice of in.stru- 
ments he re-established the empire, and then did more; 
for he enlarged its boundaries, and so organized the 

r government as a coherent system that it could sustain 
Itself when the king should be a weakling. And from 
Darius's reign rebellions did not break out as of course on 
the death of a monarch, as had been the rule from early 
Assyrian times. 

Naturally the Greeks were impressed with the power and 
splendor of that empire which menaced them with slav- 
ery. They were also impressed with the ethical qualities 
of the Persians, especially their truthfulness, a quality 
lacking among themselves. This appears in Zcnophon's 





more instnicth'dj' m Herad- 
ia aims, tiic PeniaKlooka 
ijhc cfaigf praof of maaly c wrlirKT 
IB Wb- and dmr the bov aod ^cA 
the truth ; the mas: di^^iaociuJ thing in the worid, tfcqr 
think, is to teH a lie. and they hoid it unlawful to ^sric 
of what it is utOawiui to do, JIiAlc exploits ia ?am 
are highly honored and hni^ the doers to grtatnos. 
The king docs jmK )int 3m ■■^hiht- to death for z sa^ 
fault, aad in jmxmatiag wo^Ik ike offender's scrvioa 
agaiiMi has xnisdecds.*' ^ 

The neurit of the ddhKovfiHR diae ohscrvataoai; 

6o do the iiiBci%diQas«f SMte. Ssvi^afdes^naiiqc 

evil is to call it " the fie." and the cnl bbb " the liat" 

." What I hxvcdame, 1 hamK 4tmchy At gacc oi AaOr 

ouzda. He »Bd the «Aa- ci«fc vmac to ssjr aid becaue 

1 was not wicked, skv a Bh; mat a tenant. I rc^ncrf 

according to the ^mrimt hmm/ mai oaHMtted do vicJenoe 

against the !■■ rfwifc|^ ■■■ Ar hib «ho worked for 

our house 1 ebciirihe d . 7W aoa wifc» aaaedL I destrojpcd. 

TJiou M-ho shab ««%■ >■ CabMe tines; be a friend to no 

man that lies, and do wo anjvdoe."* Thcs the )aag 

records the aames not od^ of the sehcfe he ovcrthfnr. 

but also of the men 

Iferodotus also obaenrcs thiC a» bkc adopts foR^ 

customs as readsl)r as the I>j5ii«a» add apcaks of dbeir 

adapting the Median dress, the £^;ypdan breastplate, and 

Homc Ir-is innocent matteis irom the Greeks^' This inu- 

nalural to a htclr c£Kn race, appears in the 




IRAN. 



125 



is skilful adaptation, under Greek influence,' of the archi- 
tecture of Egypt, Assyria, and Lycia. Many of the bor- 
rowed forms were refined and beautified by the Great 
King's architects, and perhaps for the first time in the 
East there entered an intellectual sense of architectural 
proportion ; to wit^ that the parts of a building should 
bear to each other a definite proportion, determined per- 
haps by some unit of measurement.* 

The Persians were only too ready imitators. The 
change from a rugged home to possession of the luxury 
of the older civilizations of western Asia was a greater 
strain than their character and education could bear. 
The Greeks called them barbarians, and they were, not 
only by reason of that which made a barbarian in Greek 
parlance, — belonging to a non-Hellenic race, — but also 
because they hopelessly lacked capacity for culture. 
Quickly they saw the delights of luxury; quickly they 
grasped them. But they themselves were vitiated. They 
lost the brave virtues of their home, and gained no civili- 
zation from their opportunities. So their wealth became 
barbaric waste. Of themselves they could evolve no 
higher culture than they possessed in Pcrsis, nor had they 
capacity to assimilate aught save the vices of the Greeks. 

The contact of force between the Persian and the 
Greek illustrates another matter. That primitive Indo- 
Germanic communities were free is borne witness to in 
Persis as well as India, or among the races of Europe. 
The Aryan peoples of Asia, however, had a capacity for 
but a barbarous freedom ; they were capable of develop- 
ing such free institutions as comported with an uncivil- 
ized society. As culture or material civilization increased, 
their manhood and political faculty did not reach to the 
development or preservation of suitable free institutions; 
and absolute monarchs arose among a people incapable 
of self-government. Herodotus' account of the creation 

' It fs not improbable that the ardutects vere Greeks. 
"See Fenti*. Hisl^rt de VArt. etc., vol. v, p. 458 tt teq. Compftre 
* de la Per St, 




136 



ANCfEST IDEALS. 



of the Median monarchy by Deices. and of the rise of 
Cyrus himself,' are dramatic statements using Hellenic 
forms and ideas: they cannot be taken to recount actual 
facts. But they are enlightening as to the incapacity of 
Asiatic Aryans for self-government. Because of this 
incapacity the Persians could not but have Cyrus and 
his successors as absolute despots, though these despots 
did indeed accord them privileges over other peoples, and 
respected certain rights, as that of the heads of the 
noblest families to approach the king, — a right, however, 
which was a survival of a more primitive time, and not 
the germ of any future constitutional freedom. 

Not even Cyrus could have understood the inferiority 
of his valiant Persians to those Lacedaemonians whom 
Herodotus has him despise because they haggled in the 
market-place. Still less might Darius, and least of all the 
foolish Xerxes, understand the power of intelligence and 
civic freedom whereby pigmy Greece should turn back the 
onslaught of Asia. Marathon wa&' insufficient teaching. 
The fact was apprehended, if not understood, when Asia's 
lord became the fugitive of Salamis. 

■ Herod., i, 96, etc tsA 1. 125. etc 



CHAPTER VI. 



GR£EK BEGINNtNGS. 



Hellenic 
Racehood. 



RACE individuality is a matter of slow evolution of 
differentiating quality. The process begins at a 
time indefinitely prior to the appearance of a race 
in history. At any period the race has a certain character 
and endowment of faculty^ which determine the use it 
makes of all that offers, but are also affected 
through every opportunity' made use of and 
acted on by every influence met. Obviously a 
most important factor is the land where the race makes 
its home. That sets conditions and offers opportunities. 
Sloth cannot exist in some lands, lands too rugged keep 
men nide through hardening circumstances and lack of 
leisure. Other lands again from situ.ition offer myriad 
chances to learn and do. But neither the nature nor the 
situation of a land, nor all it offers in itself or draws 
from abroad, has ever altogether made one of the great 
races of the world. Racehood is a problem subtle and 
complex, beyond our knowledge still. 

No civilization has ever sprung up in that rough 
mountain region comprised in the ancient countries of 
Thrace, Macedonia, and Illyria. Of itself it is too harsh 
to develop culture, and its dangerous coasts attract no 
visitors. Harborless Epirus, though farther south, offers 
the same features. But west of it, Thessaly with moun- 
tains has fertile plains, and harbors on the great bays 
which open the bnd to the jEga;an. Coming from the 
north, Thessaly is the first land of Greece desirable to dwell 

M7 



128 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



in, the first a!so to make plain how Greece faces towards 
the cast. From Thessaly southwards, on through Doris, 
Locris, Phocis, Boeotia, Attica, across the isthmus into 
Peloponnesus, appear more strikingly those propitious 
quaUties which distinguish Greece. No other land is so 
surrounded, penetrated by the sea, illuminated indeed, 
for the lig!it-shot colors of those gorgeous waters carry 
past island-rock and guarding promontory into deep bays, 
tortuous, narrow, wide, diverse in size and form, only in 
this alike that none is dark. Back from the sea, Greece 
is benign variety. Mountains and lowlands intersect: 
sometimes the mountain character predominates, some- 
times the narrow hollows broaden into plains. It was a 
land of mountain fastnesses and lovely valleys, fertile and 
well-watered, kept so through human industry.* There, 
not far apart, grew earth's most different fruits; the 
mountain oak l<x>ked down upon the olive some thousand 
feet below. Likewise in close neighborhood grew up 
divers small peoples; for Greece was cut and barricaded 
into parts, wherein each clan could well preserve its inde- 
pendence, and satisfy its needs from the variety of soil. 
No locality was fitted by nature to hold rule over the 
whole. The land was one to evoke much from its dwel- 
lers; its mountains would keep them free in bravery and 
strength, its valleys teach them gentleness, while the sea 
would bring knowledge and incite to enterprise. That 
land might have made much of men bringing thither poor 
endowments; but the people who were to become the 
Hellenic race were not ungifted while they yet stood at 
the portals of Greece. 

The Greeks were an Indo-Germanic race, and must at 
some time have left the ancient Aryan home. They may 
have entered Europe by routes to the north of the Black 

< Greece Dever ww a sj>ontaneoti«1]r fertile land like Egypt. It K^alfcd 
the toil of iu inhabitants, (o vhich, however, its rcspoDse was generotta. 
Sajrs Demaratos. the exiled tJpartan king to Xerxes: r^'EXXa'/it aivirf ui^ 
ttiri More durrpcxpo! idri.— Herod, rii, loa. Nowaday*, because Greece 
Ihiough its misfartuncit is almost treeless, there is lack of water. 



GREEK BEGINNINGS. 



129 



Crossing the Danube, they may have moved south- 
westerly through a countrj' which would hardly tempt 
ten to stay, till they saw the Adriatic. Turned by the 
a, they may have passed south through Epirus, in the 
heart of which, at Dodona, on a little lake, their descend- 
ants were to establish perhaps the most ancient of Hel- 
lenic shrines. From Epirus they would overspread the 
Thessalian plains, then wander southward, and on into 
^Peloponnesus. The Cyclades are pleasant islands, form- 
ing stepping-stones from Greece to Asia Minor. The 
stretches of water between them were not such as to hin- 
der even rude navigators from crossing; and these islands 
have been inhabited from most ancient times. Their 
early dwellers may not have come from Greece, but, on 
the contrary, from Lydia or Caria, and yet may have 
been Aryans too. For at an early period there were 
Arj'ans in Western Asia Minor. Herodotus was prob- 
ably right in saying that the Phrygians came from 
Thrace: why was it not a natural course for peoples who 
had crossed the Danube and entered Thrace, to cross the 
Hellespont? It is likely that many such crossings 

tcurred, some in early, some in much later times. Troy 
Ls an ancient city, and there is no reason to think its 
people were not Aryans, though we may hardly call them 
Greeks. Perhaps the point of veriest interest is this: 
when did Aryan peoples, dwelling in the Greek penin- 
sula or Asia Minor or in the /Egsan islands, develop such 
distinctively Hellenic traits that they may be called 
Greeks? The fundamental archsological fact of the mat- 
ter is that throughout the entire ^gaean region, conti- 
^kntal as well as insular, are found remains of buildings 
and a mass of rude objects, brick, stone, clay, and cop- 
per, which give no indication that the early inhabitants 
of all these lands were not kindred peoples. On the con- 
trary, throughout this entire region, from Troy to Cyprus, 
throughout the Cyclades and in the eastern parts of 
European Greece,these objects present such resemblances 



I30 



ANaENT IDEALS, 



as to indicate a common intercourse, but no intercourse 
with the world outside, to the east or south.' Herein, 
however, lies no clear evidence of kinship. The products 
of such barbarous handicraft are much the same the 
world over. Barbarous dexterity is insufficient to fashion 
material in correspondence with what the race would 
express, and as children do not fully show their inborn 
differences of taste and faculty, so distinguishing race- 
traits evince themselves but vaguely till the race, wakened 
from its childhood, begins to choose with more conscious 
discrimination. Differences in the faculties of barbarous 
races are often disguised in potentialities not yet actually 
distinguishable. 

The makers and users of these rude articles then prob- 
ably were Aryans; the articles show nothing distinc- 
tively Hellenic, yet there is reason to suppose that they 
belonged to people some of whom were becoming the 
Hellenic race. For these rude unidentified productions 
are lower stages of a later artistic activity which begins to 
show itself Greek. These better art productions are found 
in widely separated places from Troy to Egypt. But 
their chief place of origin apparently was the mainland of 
Greece, and indeed those little kingdoms the names 
of whose chief towns appear in Homer. A great fund of 
these better art productions has been taken from the 
tombs and ruined palaces of the princely fortress towns 
of Argoiis — "golden MycenjE " and "walled Tiryns." 
There is nothing to indicate, however, that they were 
not the work of men whose forefathers made and used 
the rudest utensils found by i£ga:an shores. It would 
fleem to have been a matter of progress and awakening. 
At all events, in Hellas, if not in Asia Minor,' as early 

' Sec Meyer, Gftckickie det AUertkumi. toI. ii, % 77, ttttq. The gnueit 
land of these objects is from Troy. 

* The moot recent ditcoveries in Troy place the Homeric Ilioa on the 
tame level of culture with Mycenae. See DOrpfcId, " Die Neaen Aoagn- 
btingen in Troji," Mitkdlimgen dtr ArxAJ^UgiuAen /ntt., t893, p, 199 ; 
1^., I&94, p. jSo. 



CREEK BEGINNINGS. 



Ill 



as the fifteenth century before Christ a people was evin- 
cing itself Greek, and was making quick progress in civil- 
ization under enlightenment drawn from intercourse with 
more advanced but inferior races. 

For the ancient world, Egypt and Babylonia were the 
primary sources of knowledge and suggestion. Of the 
beginnings of civilization in these two coun- 
tries nothing is or ever has been known, even .®f ^'^^ ^^ 

by the peoples dwelling in them at the earliest ^ '" '**°' 
J r u- 1. 5 T3 ^ • Egypt »ad 

times of which record remains. But smce B«b7lonia. 

neither Babylonia nor Egypt, during all the 
periods of which there is some knowledge, shows clear 
advance beyond the civilization reached thirty centuries 
before Christ, the passing length of years of prior growth 
may be imagined. 

From these earliest times comes evidence, if not of 
direct intercourse between the two, at least of undertak- 
ings in war or traffic reaching out from cither country 
through the lands between them, and so deviousSy in the 
direction of each other. If this evidence be uncertain 
because scanty, it gathers bulk with the passage of the 
centuries, and in the cuniform letters of the fifteenth cen- 
tury found at Tell el Amama in Egypt is ample record of 
intercourse back and forth from Egypt to Babylon and 
Assyria. A number of these letters from Egyptian gov- 
ernors of cities along the coasts of Syria, show that the 
cuniform writing was used in those intermediate lands, a 
fact of as yet unexhausted import, but accounted for by 
even earlier records, which it tends to confirm, that Baby- 
lonian or Mcsupotamian kings had conquered and held 
Syria some centuries before, when Asiatic Hyksos were 
conquering Egypt. The historical record is abundant of 
the converse later fact, that after the Hyksos had been 
expelled, Thothmes III in the sixteenth century con- 
quered all lands to the borders of Mesopotamia. 

tuation; Babylonia and Egypt, 
>f art and knowledge and polit- 



' primal possessors \ 



138 



ANCIENT WEALS. 



Hittitei. 



ical power, extending their force and influence outwards 
through intermediate lands, and towards each other, 

in the varied intercourse of war and peace. 

The intermediate lands abo had their peoples. 
From the fifteenth century for several hundred years, the 
people important from their numbers, wide extension, and 
military power, were the Cheta (the Chatti of Assyrian 
monuments, the Hittitcs of the Bible). They dwelt, or 
from time to time extended tlicmsclves, through Syria, 
and far into Asia Minor. Judging from the remains of 
their architecture and sculpture, such civilization as they 
possessed came from Babylonia or Assyria rather than 
from Kgypt. Much of the force of the original was lost 
in the crude Chetan work, which bettered nothing and 
originated little, but dulled and brutalized what it bor- 
rowed. The Chcta seem to have been a poorly endowed 
race, yet from their position they could not fail to play 
at least the inert mediary part of bringing elements of 
Mcsopotamian civilization to where they might be turned 
to suggestion by less civilized but more capable peoples 
of Arj'an stock, who were spread through the north and 
west of Asia Minor, and might thence carry their increased 
fund of knowledge to Cyprus, Crete, the Cyclades, and 
Greece.' 

But In the awakening of the Hellenic spirit to con- 
•dousn^^ of itself and what it sought, the part played 

by the Chela was slight compared with that of 

another people who. not through their position, 
but through their bold tirrlcss traffickings, carried the art 
of Eg>*pt and Mesopotamia, vulgarized in insigniBcanl 
commodities, to Mediterranean coast lands and islands 
ftx^m Gjkdcji to th« Hellespont. No one knows whence 
ihe Phcenkians came. From the first they appear as sca- 
galb rMring their young upon the difTs, but living more 

' Uia» on Jaifcfcily b* BiM >S»rt t^g CWcm <r«A wfll Mt be «g aride 

ii>li Uwir hii tiif itiiii i aw mi Ihh I, TVk ii i i— i l i m« giWrodb 

NmlM«CMpi«.«lM«r#Ar^p<«KM ML I*. Mi'/- awu»J>«d^ 
MIk. tbdtm m Xham Amtm^ etc 



Photniciaas. 



GREEK BEGINNINGS, 



133 



Upon the water. They were not a numerous people. 
Phoenicia is but a coast ; and by the sea lie all its cities. 
Sidon was the first chief town, and may have been at the 
height of its activity in the sixteenth century, when 
Thothmes III had established for a time Egyptian rule 
over Syria. Doubtless the Phoenicians readily acknowl- 
edged Egyptian suzerainty, and at this early period set 
their future policy of recognizing the overlordship of 
whatever monarch should be most powerful on the east- 
em Mediterranean shores, provided only he would leave 
the Phoenician cities free, and furnish business for their 
ships. The Egyptians were no sea-loving people; but 
their power and wealth were great. That Sidon should 
guard her head at home within the shadow of Eg>'ptian 
power, and furnish ships and sailors for whatever enter- 
prise the Egyptian monarch had at heart, on the Medi- 
terranean or the Red Sea, was an arrangement of plain 
mutual benefit. 

After a period in the course of which the Phcenicians 
founded Citium in Cyprus, commercial supremacy passed 
from Sidon to Tyre.' There resulted no change in Phoe- 
nician life or policy, which was merely to traffic in the 
most lucrative regions, or retire elsewhere when a more 
powerful race took to the sea and drove them off by force 
or competition. The Phoenicians founded few lai^e cities 
and refrained from grasping territorial power. Their num- 
bers were small, and trading stations answered their needs. 
Did they found towns or trading stations on the mainland 
of Greece? They frequently sailed thither, and Greek 
tradition bears plenary testimony to their influence. A 
strong tradition ascribes the foundation of Thebes to a 
Phcenician, Cadmus; but if Thebes was a Phoenician 
foundation, those sea-traders selected such an inland site 
as they never chose elsewhere.' At all events, the Phoe- 
nicians carried on incessant traffic with the mainland of 

' See Lenonnant-BabeloQ, Hiitmre Amienne d< ^Orient, vol. vi, p. 474t 
tt le^. 
' C/. Meyer, Geseh. AUerthums^ vol. ii, g 95. 



»34 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



Greece and the wEgaean islands, till the Greeks, stimulate 
perhaps by what they learned from the foreigners, drove 
them from those waters; and the ^gaeanjrom a Phoeni- 
cian, became a Greek sea. 

There exist remains of Phoenician cities, and some few 
inscriptions; while articles which the Phoenicians made 
and traded in are still found scattered through Mediter- 
ranean lands and islands.' Rut the race could not portray 
itself as a Greek could portray it; and the most luminous 
picture of Phoenician doings is from Homer. In the 
Odyssey* the swineherd Eum^us tells Odysseus how he 
came to be a serf in Ithaca: " There is an island called 
Syria, as you may have heard, over above Ortygia where 
are the turning places of the Sun.' It is not very thickly 
peopled, but a good land, rich in herds and flocks 
and wine and com. No death is there nor sickTiess 
for mortals; but when people grow old, silver-bowed 
Apollo comes and slays them with his painless arrows. 
In the island there arc two cities, and all the land is 
divided between them, and my father was king over them 
both — Ctesius, the son of Ormcnus, a man like to the 
immortals. Thither came the Phoenicians, famous sailors, 
cheats, bringing countless gauds in their black ship. 
Now in my father's house was a Phcenician woman, tall 
and handsome, and skilled in handiwork; her the cunning 
Phoenicians beguiled, and one of them made love to her 
as she was washing clothes by the hollow ship, for that 
always catches the mind of womankind. He asked her 
who she was and whence she came, and she told him her 
father's home: ' From Sidon rich in bronze I am, and 
the daughter of rich Arj'bas; but Taphians, pirates, seized 
me coming in from the fields, brought me hither, and sold 



' See Perrot and Chlpiez, Nistmre Je VArt, etc., toL Hi, (or ftD cxhsosi- 
he WMoant o( Fboenidui art. 

* /. /., where the son (unu back froni tbe west. Syria ii rajimcDted n 
a wcitere i&land. 



GREEK BEGWNINGS. 



m 



me into the house of my master for a goodly price.' 
Said the man : ' Then would you now return with us, 
and view again the lofty home of your father and mother, 
and see them, for they still live and are said to be rich?' 
And the woman answered : ' This may be, if you sailors 
will take oath to bring me home unharmed.* All made 
oath, and she continued: ' Be quiet now, and let none of 
you speak to mc, meeting me in the street or at the well, 
lest some one tell the old man at home, and he bind me 
in fetters and devise death for you. But keep the matter 
in mind and hurry your business, and when your ship is 
freighted, send word to me at the house, and I will bring 
such gold as I can lay hands on, and something besides 
will I willingly give for my passage. I am nurse to my 
master's child, a cunning little boy, who runs about after 
me. I will bring him to the ship, and he will fetch you a 
good price when you sell him among distant people.' 
Speaking thus, she went away to the house, but they 
stayed a year in our land and got together much wealth in 
their hollow ship. When all was ready they sent a messen- 
ger to tell the woman. And there came a crafty man to 
my father's house with a gold and amber chain. Now my 
mother and her maidens were handling the chain in the 
hall, and looking at it, and talking over the price. But 
he nodded to the woman and went to the ship, and she 
taking my hand led me forth. In the front part of the 
house she found the cups and tables of those of my 
father's followers, who had been eating. They had gone 
forth to the session and the place of parley of the people. 
So she snatched three goblets and hid them in her bosom 
and carried them away, I foolishly following. Then the 
sun set and all the ways were darkened, and quickly we 
reached the harbor, where was the swift ship of the PhcE- 
nicians. And they went aboard, taking us up with them, 
and set sail, for Zeus sent a wind. Six days and nights 
we sailed, but on the seventh Artemis the Archeress 
smote the woman with her shaft. So they cast her over- 



136 



ANaBNT WEAIS. 



board to be a prey for seals and fishes, but I was left 
afflicted. And wind and wave bore us to Ithaca, where 
Laertes bought me; and thus did my eyes see this land." 
Such were Phoenician ways. Thrifty, energetic, sen- 
sual, cruel, was this people of traffickers and kidnappers. 
Their religion was distinguished by sensual dcbaucherj- 
and human sacrifices. Their art was slovenly and ignoble 
imitation of the arts of Egypt and Mesopotamia, and 
throughout its course shows no organic development. 
They had no care for beauty; but they had the clear- 
sighted instinct of gain, and knew what things to imitate 
and trade with ; and they became clever manufacturers of 
what other peoples wanted, or might be induced to want. 
In their own country and elsewhere when building for 
themselves, they made skilful use of natural situation, 
and where they might they hewed and adjusted their walls 
from cliff and hillside. Thus they got stability and defen- 
sive strength, the objects which they aimed at. Their 
boldness and cupidity made them strong defenders of 
their independence and their wealth. A king, to gain 
their submission, must be powerful, and keep his hands off, 
and his armed presence without Phoenician walls. With 
fare skill and bravery has Tyre resisted more than one 
omnipotent besieger. 

Between the Babylonian and Egyptian civilizations, 
which had reached their zenith, and the gifted but semi- 
barbarous Aryan peoples of the Grecian main- 
land and Archipelago, who should thereafter 
show themselves Hellenic, the Phoenicians 
were universal intermediaries. They distributed their 
multifarious wares, the products of their imitative handi- 
craft. Then, as it were, they presented themselves and 
their derived and borrowed thoughts. They worshipped 
many partly transformed divinities whose originals had 
dwelt in Mesopotamia. Astarte had been Ishtar; — in 
Cyprus, at least, she was to become Aphrodite; * and the 
^ Sc« Mejrer. Gack. Attgrtkmm, nL ii. g 91. 



The Al- 
phaUL 



CREEK BEGlUi^n\GS. 



137 



many eastern thoughts which the Phoenicians had em- 
bodied in Baal-Melkart may have passed into the deeds 
and attributes of Heracles. But best, and perhaps last 
g^ft, they gave the Greeks an alphabet. Here again the 
part of the Phcenicians was not originative, but very 
intelligently adaptive. Egyptian hieroglyphics and their 
cursive hieratic simplification consisted in part of ideo- 
graphs, in part of signs which stood for syllables, and in 
part of signs which stood for elemental vowel or conso- 
nantal sounds. The last were, properly speaking, alpha- 
betic signs, or letters. To designate them the Egyptians 
used figures of objects whose names as spoken began with 
the initial sound which the alphabetic sign should rep- 
resent.' 

In borrowing from the Egyptians a mode of writing 
convenient to record perhaps their trading transactions, 
the Phcenicians took neither the ideographs nor the syl- 
labic signs; but only such of the alphabetic signs as rep- 
resented consonants; and from these they formed twenty- 
two letters corresponding to consonantal sounds. These 
Phcenician consonants might by no means express dis- 
tinctly all that the Egyptians could express by their elab- 
orate compound system of ideographs, syllables, and 
vowel as well as consonantal sounds. But the writing 
would be clear enough for the needs of tragic ; and the 
men who had devised it had done something of tran- 
scendent importance in the progress of universal civiliza- 
tion, and something which in a process of adaptation 
would come almost inevitably, but might never have 
been reached in the way of original invention. The 
Egyptian language bore no resemblance to the Phceni- 
cian, a Semitic tongue closely allied with Hebrew. Egyp- 
tian writing had been invented to express the Egyptian 
language. Consequently, in borrowing and adapting 

^f The letter Z, for example, was the figure of a lion ; the Egyptian won! 
for licm {laho) beginning with the initial »ound of L. Sec ¥h. Berger, 
iutinre de V^erihtre^ p. 97, 



138 



ANCIENTJDEAl 



Egyptian written signs, the Phoenicians could select only 
those expressions of elemental consonant sounds which 
the Phoenician language had in common with the Egyp- 
tian. And inasmuch as the two languages were entirely 
different from each other, signs which could express ele- 
mental sounds common to them both, would, for the 
most part, be suitable to express elemental sounds com- 
mon to all human tongues. 

In devising visible means of communicating thought, 
the primitive unassisted invention is the ideograph. A 
mode of writing originated by a race may advance 
towards an ultimate analysis of vocal sounds, as did the 
Egyptian in using alphabetic signs. Yet there would 
come no occasion to lay a.side its compound system of 
ideographic and syllabic signs suitable to that language, 
though to none other. But the Phoenicians, in adopting 
from the Egyptian writing a system suited to their own 
language, would of necessity leave all that was peculiar, 
and take what was universal in the Egyptian system; 
though as matter of fact they did not feel the need of 
taking all that was universal («. r., the vowel signs). 
Thus were fulfilled the two conditions antecedent to the 
formation of an alphabet suitable to all tongues: first, 
that a system of writing should originate and advance to 
at least a part expression of elemental vocal sounds; and 
secondly, that another race should form from it a system 
of writing adapted to its own quite different tongue. The 
derived system will of necessity consist of signs expressive 
of elemental sounds which are the same in all languages.* 

' There U another illustraUon o{ this matter. The cunifonn writing as 
ntcd by Dabyloniins aii<i .\&sjTiiiQS did not advance beyond ideographs and 
fyllabic signs. 7*he Penians formed the coniform v-riling which ihcy mcd 
in ttiscHptiotu from the Babylunian. The Babylonian cuniform had no 
alphabetic ligns ; its syllabic ugns were not niitable to the PcttUn tongue. 
So the Persians took a certain number of ideographs, whence ihey devi)«d 
thirty-six alphabetic cbaraclers (voweh and consonantk), to render the artica- 
lalion of their own speech. Kvcept in inscriptions the Penians used the 
Aramaic alphabet. Sec I'h. Berger IJisioire dt VSerittiri, etc, p. yft, etc, 
•ad 214 «tc. 



GREEK BECrN/ifA'CS. 



139 



Thus was derived and formed the Phoenician alphabet, 
the basis of all alphabets in present ui^c. It was not com* 
plcte, for it contained only consonants. Not later than 
the tenth century it came to the knowledge of the 
Greeks;' and was likely first used by them for purposes 
of trade, as the Phcenicians used it," and not till some 
time afterwards either in public inscriptions or for literary 
compositions.' In the meanwhile the Greeks made the 
letters more symmetrical, and, passing through an inter- 
mediate manner of writing alternately from right to left, 
then left to right (boustrophcdon), they changed the 
direction of writing and the facing of the letters, so that 
all should read from left to right.* This was convenient 
■ and artistic — Greek, But it was nothing to the main 
'Greek alphabetic invention of a full set of vowel signs, 
whereby they completed the alphabet, and rendered it 
more definitely expressive, and fit to visualize the sonor- 
ousness of speech.* 

From contact with other peoples a weak race may pass 
from sight, its distinguishing traits effaced, itself perhaps 
enslaved. A stronger race turns alien skill and 
proffered knowledge to opportunity to reach a cwmzatioiL 
greater selfhood, and gathers strength resisting 
alien force. Vigorous races advantage themselves in dif- 
ferent ways from foreign contact. The Hebrew gained 

1 See Larfeld in J. Mallei'a Handbiuk der Klaiiisckm AiterthuMJ-Wis- 
jemteMa/tt 3d ed,, vol. i, p, 49$, tt sry. 

• See Meyer. Cttch. Aiterikums, toI. ii, § 253. 

* The e&rtie&t extant Greek iiucripliunii are hardly earlier thiui 700 B.C. 
But the fact that the Greek olphabct » nearly developed in them— already 
possesses vowels — indicates txtmc centuries of previous acquaintance with 
writing on the part of Greeks. 

b* See Ph. Berger. HUtoire de t'tcriturt dans VAnHquiU^ p. 128, etc. 
' Aftbur J. Evans's Cre/an Pictcgraphs and Pra-PManieian Script goes to 
_ prove that the " Mycenaean" people were acquainled with an ideographic. 
and poasibly linear, mode of writing. The fact remains, nevertheless, that 
the Greeks did fonn their alphabet from the Fhoentdan ; and the proba- 
bUity is unshaken that the Phaenician alphabet was in the main constructcii 
Ihroogh a process of adaptation rather than original invcctloD. 



140 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



moral force and clear self-consciousness repelling other 
peoples' degradations. The Greek became himself by* 
accepting art and knowledge from abroad, transforming 
all he took. The transformation of the foreign thought, 
the foreign handicraft, to what it was not, a new art gain- 
ing form, Greek genius conquering its foreign lessons, 
Hellenic race individuality becoming clearer, Hellenic 
faculty, character, spirit, unfolding — this is what is dis- 
closed by the happy treasure-trove from Mycense and 
other places where the glad Greek child stretched forth 
its hands to gather life. 

The objects constituting the remains of this civilization 
are not Egyptian, not Babylonian or Assyrian, not Che- 
tan, not Phoenician. The tombs, the palaces, the fortress- 
walls, of which ruins remain, are bedded in the soil of 
Greece. The decorations and sculpture, the arms, the 
vases, the cut stones, the goldsmith's work, were exe- 
cuted by men whose home was nowhere else. It is an 
interesting fact, difficult to explain, that few foreign arti- 
cles, and perhaps none of Phccnician workmanship, have 
been found in Tiryns or Mycenae,' 

Since the men of Tiryns, Mycen2e, Orchomenus, left 
no inscriptions — none at least which have been read, — 
their character and civilization must be judged from their 
presentation of themselves in art." It behoved these 
cities or rather citadels to be defensible, a consideration 
determining their sites. They were surrounded by thick 
walls built mostly of large, roughly shaped stones set in 

■ Meyer, Gtitk. dtt AtUrthums, ii, § 114. 

' The authorities here Are first of all the czcavaCioRS of Dr. Scfannnaan, 
and the collectioos of objects taken from them, to be found at Athens and 
elsewhere. Secondly, Dr. Schliemonn's publications (.If^Av, Tirymx)', 
Schuchardt's book on the Sckiitmann Exiooatunu ; the puUkartions oC 
Dr. DOrpfeld ; Foithwraeogter and Loesclie's Mykertiscke Vasen. The data 
an exhaasdrely collected and luddlj set forth in vol. ri of Perrot's //u- 
Uire df i'Art, etc. ; admirahlo Is lis vxmxwkrf of the characteristics of My- 
ceniean art, ch. U, § 9, his indebtedness to which the present whtcr 
would acknowledge. Perhaps the most beautiful reproductions of objects 
of MycenxjQ art are conuined in the 'Eipiffitpii *JpxcnoXoxtHrf , pub- 
lished at Athens. 



GREEK BEGINNINGS. 



141 



clay and rubble. Near a gateway the stones were hewn 
into rectangular blocks and laid in regular layers, and 
thus the ends of the wall were made stable to resist the 
lateral pressure of parts more roughly built. The walls 
contained gallerica and casements. They represented an 
effective mode of using the stone of the country for for- 
tification, practicable for a people with whom iron was a 
rarity. Other representative architectural remains are 
the dome-shaped tombs at Mycenrc and elsewhere, and 
the palace of Tiryns. The most famous of the former has 
long been called the Treasury of Atreus. In the Tiryns 
palace, wood was freely used. These constructions, the 
tombs as well as the palace, evince in their pJan and dec- 
oration that care for symmetry and proportion which later 
should distinguish classic architecture. But the decora- 
tion, despite its grace and regularity of design, is not fully 
Greek, for it lacks that illuminating pertinence of theme 
and motive whereby classic Greek architectural decoration 
emphasizes the character and makes clear the import of 
the building. These older people disliked to leave on 
wall or architrave or column any space unfilled with 
design or carving. But their designs, not being expres- 
sive of the purpose of the building, produce an effect of 
thoughtless barbarous profusion. These buildings had 
not reached the grand simplicity of classic construction. 

From the crude execution of the limestone mortuary 
steles, this peoi>le would seem to have had no foreign 
instruction in the field of larger sculpture. At all events, 
it was an art in which they were unpractised. What 
some of their artists could execute in fresco may be seen 
in the fragment from the Tiryns palace, where a lithe 
human figure, springing on a galloping bull, shows in 
living line the superiority of man's skilled agility to the 
strength of the ponderous brute. Probably there were 
many paintings of like excellence. A yet superior artis- 
tic skill appears In some of the small cut signet stones' and 

* See, e. g. , ihe one given by Pcrrot, vol, vi (//irteire dt i'Arty etc.), plate 
xt], 13. from Vnphio. 



142 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



Jn the design and workmanship of the products of the 
goldsmith's art, easily chief among the witnesses of My- 
cenaean love of all things beautiful. Graceful and lovely 
are the diadems, the earrings, brooches, bracelets of gold. 
Most plainly, however, does the artist's genius bespeak 
itself Hellenic in scenes of life and struggle inlaid on 
Mycenaean sword-blades or raised in high relief on the 
gold cups of Vaphio. On one blade are the blossoms of 
flowers like lilies, bending, unfolded;' on another, cats 
are hunting ducks by a river where lotus grows' — a scene 
which may have been suggested by some Egyptian model. 
But the cats, the ducks, the lotus, here are drawn as in life 
— not as in Egypt. The most famous blade of all shows a 
Hon hunt. Two lions flee towards the end of the blade, 
but the third springs on a prostrate hunter, over whom his 
comrades aim their spears and arrows at the lion rushing 
on. On this blade appears a new thing in art, a unity 
and centring of interest by the arrangement of the fig- 
ures, not as in the Egyptian battle-pieces, by making the 
Pharaoh monstrous and all others in the picture pigmies. 

This art, both in its crude efforts and its more advanced 
accomplishment, in so far as it succeeded in presenting 
any subject, rendered it with the diversity and unconven- 
tionality which exist in life. The rendering of life is 
reached most largely in the Vaphio cups. On one of 
these, while two wild bulls are caught in the net, a third 
dashes his captors to the ground ; the bulls on the second 
cup are tamed ; a man drives one off, ui^ng it along and 
directing it by a rope tied to the hind leg. The cups are 
masterpieces of the goldsmith's art. Faults there arc 
of dra>\'ing; but the scenes are diversified, spontaneous, 
living, and show artistic qualities which came to Greece 
from no other land of earth. 

Though Mycenxan pottery did not reach the level of 
the goldsmith's art, it shows itself the product of the 
same race by its original and diversified manner of repre- 

' Pcrrot. pUte lix. ■ Pcmx, pUte xvii, x^ 



CREEIC BEGINNINGS. 



X43 



;nting natural objects, plants, polyps, fishes, birds. 
Even the goldsmith's work showed faults in drawing the 
human figure with wasp-like waist, faults original and 
peculiar, which the artist would have avoided had he 
copied more his foreign models, and been less himself. 

H Vase-drawings of the human figure are utterly crude, yet 
preserve the same faults as the goldsmith's work. And 
being thus related to other work of the same race and 
time, the Mycenaean pottery, by its use of geometrical 
patterns as well as by its graceful forms, relates itself to 
later products of the Greek potter's wheel. 

H The goldsmith reproduced the human visage in relief 
as on the Vaphio cups, or outlined in profile, or in the 
features of the masks which were to resemble the dead 
whose faces they covered in the tomb. One and all 
these visages arc clear in their negation of any other race- 
hood than Hellenic. They resemble, though they cannot 
be said to have fully attained, the classic Greek coun- 
tenance. 

This art called Mycenrean takes joy in the beauty of 
the many forms which life and natural growth suggest. 
It copies the flower which is not useful, but simply beau- 
tiful; it delights in myriad curves and spirals; for vases 
and wall decoration, it chooses nothing more frequently 
than themes derived from the weird tentacles of the 
polyp. Scenes of conflict are frequent, sieges, combats 
between man and man, between man and beast. These 
scenes are true to life in this, that the conflict is not easy ; 
the victor is not victor as of course and effortless; rather 
is the struggle grim, painful, the end not certain. These 
men saw life truly. And in the conflict scenes wherein, 
it may be with sweat and danger, the man masters the 
bull or slays the lion, there seems almost discernible that 
which was to be a glorious motive in Greek art, the pres- 
entation of intelligence conquering the brute. Wide is 
the range of motive and interest shown in "Mycenaean " 
art, from mortal conflict to the drawing of a flower, or 



144 



ANaBNT IDEALS, 



faces in quiet profile; and it is real, not ceremonial 
interest that is shown. For its own beauty is the flower 
drawn. Not out of pompousness, but for the human 
struggle in it, is the conflict reproduced just as it occurs. 
There is in this art a spirit of life, a sense of truth, a 
sense of reality and of proportion, a lovu of beauty, a 
breadth of interest, all of which make up a clear, mute 
prophecy of Greece. 

Testimony from Egypt in recent years is making clear 

that the peoples who from somewhere had come to the 

iCgxan lands did not leave undisturbed the 

AttMks on ^jj^j. civilizations of the southern coasts of 

EfiTTpt And 

on Troy. ^^"^ Mediterranean. Passing southward along 
the western shores of Asia Minor, and then east- 
ward, the island of Cyprus would not long remain unvis- 
ited, and thence it were not a far journey to Phccnicia. 
The Asiatic coast once reached, if the adventurous 
bands were not turned back, or lured to settle in Phil- 
istia, news of rich plunder towards the Nile could not 
(ail to tempt them farther. Or indeed from the Cyclades 
and Greece itself, passing by the way of Crete, it was an 
easy voyage to Egypt. Such voyages at all events 
occurred. The decline of Sidon may have been due to 
these naval incursions from the north ; perhaps the Sidom- 
ans had Imparted the art of building ships and sailing on 
the sea to these people quick at learning. And it is not 
improbable that the Philistines who oppressed Israel had 
come in ships from Cyprus and the farther north. In the 
thirteenth century Mcncptah II, and after him Ramses 
III, had to defend Egypt against a united attack of these 
^g^ean peoples, and loudly the Pharaohs laud their vic- 
tories over the invaders,' 

The names of the defeated enemies arc told, and seem 

to be the names of peoples who, if not Greek, were at least 

from out the region which was becoming the Grecian 

world. The warriors are drawn with rounded and also 

* See Bnigsdi, Ef^l under tke PMsrephi (1891), p. 311. etc. 



GREEK BEGINNINGS. 



HS 



feathered or plumed helms; their features arc not Se- 
mitic nor African, and if not clearly Greek, at least not 
clearly un-Hellenic. This is not the first appearance of 
such peoples on Egyptian monuments: long-sworded 
Shardanes, who formed the foreign body-guard of Ram- 
ses II, would seem to have come from over the sea, and 
to have been an Arj'an people/ A later king, Psam- 
mctcchos I,' employed Greek mercenaries, and estab- 
lished them at Naukratis. Further, Myccnrean pottery 
has been found in Egypt mingled with eighteenth dyn- 
asty remains.' 

These facts from Egypt are met by finding at Mycenae 
and at Rhodes articles with the name of Amenophis III 
of the eighteenth dynasty, and of Ti, his queen.* There 
can be no doubt that Mycenae and her sister cities flour- 
ished in the fifteenth century. Their civilization was the 
growth of centuries preceding, and lasted till the Dorians 
destroyed it. But before then, whatever part, direct or 
indirect, or none at all, the men of Mycenae and their kin 
had taken in attacks on Egj-pt and Phcenicia, they had 
besieged and burned a city by the Hellespont, doing a 
deed of ever widening fame. This people, beauty -loving, 
caring for so much of life, who dwelt in Laccda:mon, 
Argolis, Attica, Bceotia, Thcssaly, and many islands of 
the Grecian seas,* wrote no name on their monuments; 
their domed and shafted tombs, their citadels and pal- 
aces, are unlettered, mute.' I3ut while the memory of 

* Cf. Meyer, Cetch. dis AlUrthums^ ii, g I34-<37. 
•665 B.C. 

■ Eg)-ptian ioflaence in Mycenfcan art is perTinps to be ascribed rather to 
direct intercourse with Egypt than to Phcenician intervention. 

* About t440-i4O0 B.C. See Meyer, Gesch. dfi Alt., ii, g§ 82, I2g. Cf. 
etrie, *' Egyptbin Basis of Greek History,*' ycurNal of Iletlenit Studiti, 

'ii, p. 271, etc. ; 1**., *' Notes on Antiquities of Mycenx," ib., xii, p. 199, 
etc. Penot, Histetre, etc., vol. vj, ch. xii. 

' Sec Schuchardt, ScMiemann Extavations, p. 315, and xxix of Leafs 
Introduction. Cf. A. J. Evins, "A Mykenasan Treasure from jEpna," 
Jcmrnal of NeUtnU StttJUu vol. xiii, 1S93, p. Z95. 

* Yet see Evans's Cretan Ptetogrofiht, etc. 

VOL. I.— 10 



146 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



The 
Ach«aos. 



them was strong, nay, rather while they still themselves 
enjoyed the life of earth, songs honored and preserved the 
name of the Achaeans. Not for want of the most splcn> 
did of earth's voices should they be voiceless. 

The remains of this civilization present palpable vari- 
ances from the customs of the Homeric epics. At My- 
cenae the dead were buried and perhaps crudely 
embalmed; in the epics it is usual to burn the 
body on a pyre.' Possibly Eg>'ptian influence 
was stronger at Mycena; than when the epics were com- 
posed in their present form ; or the burial of the dead 
may simply represent common primitive notions of en- 
suring a continuance of life after death. There arc also 
apparent variances between the Homeric and the My- 
cenaean dress, and a more perplexing divergence lies in 
the fact that the lords of Mycenae seem to care not at all 
for the products of foreign art, while in Homer splendid 
objects, when not the work of Hephaestus, arc made by 
Phoenicians. On the other hand, definite points of coin- 
cidence establish the identity of the Mycena:ans with the 
Homeric Achxans: the places prominent in Homer cor- 
respond with the localities where " Mycena;an " remains 
have been found; the Homeric epithets arc most appo- 
site, " great-walled " {jsixioiSaav) Tiryns, Myccna 
*' abounding in gold " {Tzo\vxpt^o<^\ the ruins of Or- 
chomenus accord with its Homeric repute for wealth; and 
the remains of the palace at Tiryns explain and illustrate 
the palace of Alkinous in the Odyssey. These and other 
coincidences in matters of broad fact and close detail 
easily overcome special divergences, which are indeed 
explained by the uncontrovcrted view that much in the 
epics is the composition of bards living in the yEoUan 
and Ionian settlements of Asia Minor, after the Dorian 
conquest of Peloponnesus. 

At a period not far from the traditional date, 1104 B.C. 

I Cf. Lesf in Introduction to Schuchardt't SchHtmann Exeavaii^tu^ p. 
■XT, etc.; also Helblg, DU Ilomuriii^t Efios^ etc. 



GREEK BEGINNINGS. 



H7 



rude mountain tribes of Dorians descended upon their 
Ach.'Ean kin. The Dorian conquest was not accomplished 
in one generation. Long struggles for supremacy are 
indicated by the traditional repulses of the Hcracildae. 
In the end, however, the Acharans, fallen perhaps from 
their ancient valor, had to yield to Dorian strength ; and 
one result was an increased migration to the islands of 
the jtga;an and the coast of Aiia Minor, where probably 
there were already flourishing Achaean settlements, formed 
by the extension of Achaean peoples before the Dorian 
invasion had furnished further motive for leaving their 
native land.* For the purposes of this migration and the 
Grecian settlement of the coast of Asia Minor, those 
Greeks who from Thessaly crossed to Lesbos and the 
adjacent coast are known as iColians; those are to be 
called lonians who from farther south, from Attica — 
whither they had been pressed together by the Dorian 
invasion, says the tradition — passed to the Cyclades, and 
crossed to the western southern coast of Asia Minor. 
Smyrna was the border settlement, and there, where met 
^olian and Ionian speech and story, tradition fitly placed 
the birth of Homer. 

The settlement of the coast and neighboring islands 
did not take place without conflicts with peoples already 
there,, in race perhaps akin to the new-comers from the 
west. These Greeks, who were conquering a broader 
Troad, would never lose the memory of the mighty Acha:- 
an achievement, the wide power of Agamemnon, and the 
glory of Achilles. Of what should their song be but of 
these ancestral deeds mirrored in their own? And as they 
looked back to their fatherland, lovingly perhaps, their 
thoughts would turn to famed Returns of the heroes, the 
most famous, striving, loving Return of all, that of great 
Odysseus. The Dorian invasion, which rudely broke the 
brilliant life of European Greece, would but accelerate 
the growth of Greece in Asia, where the Achaean — the 
' C/., Meyer, GescM. dts AU.^ ii. g 138-141. 



I4S 



AlfdENT IDEALS, 



j^olian-lonian — genius should finally reach full expres- 
sion in the completion and perfecting of the treasury of 
song brought from /Eolis and Mycenje. 

Whatever palaces and minor things material were pro- 
duced by the art of the Mycenaean time would, unless 
destroyed, remain exactly as they were made by men 
in whom Greek character and faculties were but nascent. 
It was otherwise with the songs that told their deeds. 
Not as a scene inlaid upon a sword-blade, fixed while the 
blade endure, might these be kept, but only in the forma- 
tive memories of men, which hold the past indeed, but as 
a gathering reflex of the present. The present moulds 
the past to its ideals; and so song grows. From all that 
circumstances threw in their path were these Acha^ans, 
generation after generation, building their lives, building 
themselves, selecting with clearer discrimination what 
conformed to a gradually developing Hellenic character. 
These songs were not formal sacred chants stiffening to 
magic formulae with forgotten meaning. They were songs 
of life, and could not but be continually moulded by the 
tastes and discriminations, the selecting and discriminat- 
ing memories, of men who in each succeeding generation 
were becoming more positively and completely Greek. 
By the ninth century how much more had the race lived 
and endured and learned; how much more had it laid 
aside of what was not it; how much more distinctly Hel- 
lenic had it become. All of which would be continually 
mirrored in these living, ever-growing songs. Finally the 
great bard Homer — be he one or many — who sings these 
songs at last and composes them to what they are, is per- 
fect Greek, and the Hellenic genius, in him become its 
perfect self, completes the structure of the epic past. 

Homer's presentation of that past was more Hellenic 
than that past had been; and yet neither in substance, 
nor in form or spirit, was it a severed new creation, but a 
final perfect utterance of rougher notes heard long before 
in ^oHs and Mycena; — an unfolding of the spirit of 



GREEK BEGINNINGS. 



149 



lycenffian 



art. That art had shown life true and real. 



seeing the reality of death and pain, the uncertainty of 
Ithc straining conflict. This first view comes to clearer 
vision and finds its greatened epic counterpart in the 
manifold verities of the poems and the "equal " conflicts 
round the walls of Troy. Mtfviv aetSe 6ia — sing, god- 
dess, of the anger of Peleus's son; "AvS pa ^01 IvrsTts 
Movffa — tell me, O Muse, of the man of many wiles who 
suffered much! So the epics open; such the real and 
human themes which they shall expand. But intima- 
tions of like veritable human interest in the man, his 
strength, his faculty, his skill, murmur in Mycensan art. 
By superior mind and skill the bulls are mastered, as 
Odysseus masters Polyphemus. And as the man of 
Mycenae would have all things ornamented to the full, 
though his inchoate Hellenic spirit does not make the 
ornament germane and expressive, likewise Homer 
speaks of nothing great, garment or shield or man, 
without adorning it with beautifying epithet, which also 
further tells its character — for Homer is full Greek, 
-ove of beauty is becoming conscious of itself in My- 
enaean art ; in the epics it is clear and universal, holding 
"all life. 



CHAPTER VII, 



HOMER. 



ALTHOUGH not mature, the Greek spirit has 
become distinctively itself in Homer. Thence- 
forth, in course continuous it raises and develops 
the qualities which it has reached, bringing them to mani* 
fold yet related expression in conduct and philosophy, 
,^ literature and art. With intelligence and in. 

Geoint sight, wi'h comprehensive human vision, and 
with unique capacity for joy, the Greek desired 
the utmost, the best, the most veritable elements of life. 
He desired it all intensely, eagerly, strenuously, for his 
deepest thoughtfulness was not morbid ; he did not feci 
distaste for Hfe because of its limitations; no yearning 
for the impossible turned him from endeavor for the 
utmost that might be had. His was complete accept- 
ance of life, with ever finer discrimination in selection. 

Desire for the thronging contents of physical and intcl* 
lectual life appears in the Iliad and Odyssey. The full 
and many-sided natures of the Homeric heroes contain 
wondrous many of the feelings and desires which makoj 
hfc's contents still. The finer modes of intellectual dis-1 
crimination are not yet evident, as they will become ; but 
there is already clear appreciation which weighs and bal- 
ances the elements of life. 

The conscious and intelligent desire for the utmost of 
life involves such balancing of its contents, in order that 
the less may be surrendered for the greater when all may 
not be had. The function of intelligence is to weigh and 

150 



nOMMR, 



151 



estimate, adjust desire to the object's worth. It appre- 
, hends proportions. Greek intelligence shows itself in pal- 
f pable endeavor to adjust and proportion life. Greek mind 
is great, inasmuch as it discloses itself so plainly as pro- 
portioning intelligence. A faculty and habit of estimat- 
ing, balancing, proportioning all things involves continual 
reasoning, as well as reasonableness, openness to convic- 
tion by the force of argument. Very striking is the part 
which reason plays with Greeks. Reason rather than 
emotion appears to lead them ever, whether aright or 
astray. Homer's passionate heroes never cease to 
reason; sustained reasoning fills Greek dramas; the 
speeches in Thucydides are arguments addressed to the 
reason of the hearers; there is in them little passionate 
appeal. Greek reasoning thoughtfulness never, till times 
of decadence, turned to hesitation. Coupled with fearless 
acceptance of life's conditions, it did 'not clog, it guided 
action. What Pericles says of the Athenians applies only 
in a less degree to all the Greeks: " We have a peculiar 
power of thinking before we act, rnd of acting too, 
whereas other men are courageous from ignorance, but 
hesitate upon reflection."' The habitual acting under 
the conscious guidance of reason gives a tone of selfish- 
ness to Greek ethics. Yet, no other race except Rome so 
greatened individual selfishness into patriotism, which 
with the Greeks was also fortified by reason. " In my 
judgment," says Pericles, heartening the Athenians dur- 
ing the plague, " it would be better for individuals them- 
selves that the citizens should suffer and the state flourish 
than that the citizens should flourish and the state suffer. 
A private man, however successful in his own dealings, if 
his country perish, is involved in her destruction; but if 
he be an unprospcrous citizen of a prosperous city, he is 
much more likely to recover. Seeing then that states 
can bear the misfortunes of individuals, but individuals 

' Pendens funeral Epe«ch, Thucydides. U, 40, Jowett't iranslktion ; e/,y 
Ftotle, Foiitics, vii, 7. 



IS2 



AffCrENT IDEALS. 



cannot bear the misfortunes of the state, let us all stand 
by our country, and not do what you arc doing now, 
who, because you are stunned by your private calamities, 
are letting go the common hope of safety, and condemn- 
ing not only mc who advised, but yourselves who con- 
sented to the war."' Yet many Greeks did care more 
for their party than for the whole city, and never foreign 
enemy could hate as could the exile of the same blood, 
whose love of city was fused into desire to get her again 
within his grasp. Alcibiades, most universal of traitors, 
spoke common sentiments when as an exile he told the 
Spartans : " I love Athens, not in so far as I am wronged 
by her, but in so far as I once enjoyed the privileges of 
a citizen. The country which I am attacking is no longer 
mine, but a lost country which I am seeking to regain. 
He is the true patriot, not who, when unjustly exiled. 
abstains from attacking his country, but who in the 
warmth of his affection seeks to recover her without 
regard to the means." * 

Life is the exercise of faculty ; and in exercise of faculty 
is joy. To many races life might be pleasant, might be 
dumbly satisfying, and might have its fierce exultings; 
but the Greek, through his finer, more intelligent, more 
highly human energy and eagerness, felt joyousncss, and 
knew it as a principle of life, — life's raison d*^tre of happi- 
ness. Normally was life glad ; the clear Greek conscious- 
ness of this might be intensified to pain at life's untoward 
interruptions, incident to mortality. " Be young, dear 
soul of mine ; quickly shall there be other men, and I be 
black earth!" might sing Mimnermus.* So comes the 
cutting pain which the Greek could never quite dispel from 
life, but over which the Hellenic spirit endeavors in many 
modes to make good the principle of joyousness — ^joy- 
ousncss in what life offers. Fleeting, dashed with the 

' TbDCjrdJdes, U, 60. Jowctt's trmntUtion. 

* Thaqrdidcs, vi, qs, Jowctt's transUtiun. 

■ Mickail, StUftiemt frvm ikt Grttk AnlMoiegy, p. 967. 



HOMER, 



ni 



idncs.*; of their transience, are life's sweet instinctive 
pleasures. But it has deeper joy springing from happy 
or successful exercise of man's noble faculties, the worth 
l)f which reason confirms. Such joy lay in the high 
strenuous deed accomplished, bringing broad satisfaction 
from its nobleness and assurance of glory ; or such' joy lay 
in energy of mind. Greek intellect, strong and active, 
seeking to proportion life, could not but apply itself to 
the acquisition of the knowledge requisite; it also sought 

iat larger knowledge which might prove life's far crite- 
lon, and which was in itself a highest mode of life. As 

jmcthing to be loved and got for its own sake the Greeks 

>ught knowledge — philosophized. And this search for 

irious knowledge, for farthest, deepest knowledge of all 
Kfe, in which Greeks sought to satisfy the cravings of 

[le soul, was one phase of Greek intelligent endeavor after 
life's most veritable elements, which lie in what is nearest 
the seeker man, in that which is most really part of 

im. And again, such striving for life's utmost could not 
l>ut issue in effort to heighten each human capacity and 
faculty. This meant to greaten man and make of him 

le utmost. The Greek sought to complete himself. In 

conduct and in that idealizing reflex of life which is liter- 

'^ature and art, he sought to display heightened human 

traits and show the man enlarged — more closely kin to 

the kin race of gods. 

And for life thus considered, reasoned on, propor- 
tioned, understood, felt, joyed in, and completed, great- 
■ned to its fullest bound, there was a final thought which 
crowned and compassed all, — the thought of beauty. 
Beauty was one and manifold; life's perfectncss, and 
therein one; and yet approached in many ways, and 
therein manifold, and comprehensive of all life. Love of 

le beautiful, the full and proportioned perfect, its 

liyn'ad forms appealing to the sense and to the mind, 
"was the high Greek emotion; therein lay the farthest 
/earning of the Greek spirit, that which made it Greek, 



y 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 

Greek love of beauty was cognate with Greek love of 
knowledge, since it also sprang from the Greek intellect 
regulating, wishing to sec proportioned, fit, symmetrical 
and harmonious, the many objects precious in Greek eyes. 
It was a love seeking in its object unity, form, measure, 
harmony, fitness, adaptation to ends, power and glory. 
Under the guise of beauty the Greeks loved life, essential 
life, not its incidents, but life itself, proportioned, har- 
monious, victorious, as it were — the very fulfilment and 
consummation of human being. And thus the love of 
beauty closely entwined itself with joyousness which is 
the perfect energy of unimpeded function — therefore 
completing and strength-giving, therefore beautiful. 

These were elements of the Greek conception and love 
of beauty — a thought and love which had its further mys- 
teries hardly to be declared, but to be sympathized with, 
felt, and so realized. Akin to it, and sprung from gifts 
diflficult to analyze, was the Greek creative imagination, 
that artist faculty so potent in them that their thoughts 
stood forth bodied with fitting and completed forms, or 
moved in concrete instances of human action typical of 
wide truth. The Greek observed closely and saw verit- 
ably, and gathered knowledge and experience of fact; on 
all of which he reasoned well. Then the all-compelling, 
compassing, more than inductive, visualizing, form-giving 
imagination transformed the content of experience to 
living modes of poetry and art, wherein was farthest 
verity and the necessary truth of that which lives. 



The Homeric epics were the first-fruits of clear Greek 
apprehension of the facts of life and the Greek formative 
imagination, whose creations would have been 
fiction had they not been art. Throughout 
the poems the working of these two faculties is 
evident and distinguishable. Homer's physical 
knowledge is small, and that little is mixed 
error. But as a fact appears to him he clearly 



Gr«ek In- 
tellect and 
I magi M- 
tlen. 



with 



nOMER. 



Exempli- 
fied in the 
Homeric 
Puitheoa. 



thinks it, nor confuses it in contradictions. Fair and 
open is his apprehension of the general facts of life, quite 
clear is his consciousness as to what he docs not know. 
Wisely he reasons, never mistaking wish for its fulfilment, 
but basing his Judgment on his observation. Then has 
he the potent and resistless imagination of the race, which 
will endure nothing vague or abstract, but must visualize 
its thoughts and understandings in its creations. The 
clearness of Homeric apprehension of life issues in truth- 
fulness of imagination. A chief example is the Homeric 
pantheon. 

At stages of mental growth corresponding to the Ho- 
meric, other peoples in animistic mode have conceived 
natural phenomena as endowed with will and 
motive not unlike the human. But Homer's 
artistic imagination has dramatized his gods, 
made each a complete personality with a dis- 
tinct character, and most consistently has the 
Homeric imagination builded its creations out of observa- 
tion. Homer had observed nothing essentially different 
and superior to human nature. In his gods human life is 
freed from such limitations as it might lay aside and still 
remain itself. Strikingly true to human nature are the 
gods. Homer consistently withholds from them perfec- 
tion; they are neither omniscient nor omnipotent. No 
person is so. When the poet .says, "the gods can do any- 
thing," "the gods know all," ' he means that they can do 
much impossible for men, and know much to men un- 
known. He puts them at times in ignoble situations, 
subjects them to discomfiture and pain, and blinds even 
Zeus with folly." Olympian divinity is humanity en- 
larged along the h'ncs of artistic truth. Truly the gods 
know lust and fear and hatred, grief and joy, are jealous, 
envious, and revengeful ; and they know themselves to 
be so ready with deceit and guile that no wise divinity 
trusts another except under oath. Like men also they 

' Od., iv, 379, 468 ; X, 306. • /?., M, 95, etc. 



156 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



arc placable, and sometimes pity miser>' ; they acknowl- 
edge tics of gratitude and friendship, know parental love 
and filial; but conjugal love, beyond what may lurk in 
temporary lust, is far to seek in the Homeric Olyinpus. 
So in speaking and acting, in their manner of yoking their 
horses, clothing or arming themselves, fashioning implc' 
ments and taking their rest, they act like men and women; 
and Olympian society and governance, with its feasting 
and song, its council of the gods over which Zeus presides 
like Agamemnon on earth, is a true heightened likeness 
of human affairs.' 

The frailties of the gods were those most natural to men ; 
and they had the qualities which men admired. In the 
possession of all good things they were so fortunate, so 
excellent, that men might term them blessed.' In stature 
they exceeded men, and they were fairer; their strength 
was greater and their power of voice, so their knowledge 
and iheir wisdom. They possessed superhuman means of 
moving where they wished and of doing what they would ; 
they were free from old age and death. Yet divine 
strength was not different from human, only there was 
more of it. Men nourish their lives on meat and wine and 
the fruits of the earth; the gods maintain theirs on am- 
brosia and nectar. The conditions of their deathlessness 
are similar to those on which depend the continuance of 
mortal life. Ares was once like to perish when he had 
been bound in chains by monstrous mortals.* 

The relations of the gods to men were inOuenced by 
feelings prevailing among human beings. The gods 
would treat well those who treat them well. Says Athene 
to her father, " Did not Odysseus rejoice thee with his 
sacrifices in the wide Trojan plain? then why wast thou 
so wroth with him, Zeus I " * Ill-luck to such as n^ect 
the gods! Artemis, forgotten in sacrifice, sends the 
Calydonian boar, living to be a plague, in its death to 

' Conput such posnges u //. , t, 730, etc ; «., 838 ; jrriii. 370, etc. . and 
<#.. 40a. '^t T, 35s. 

* Mdnapii Ocoi'i the epics, /<m/^ot. < CU^, i, 6Qk 



i 



HOMER, 



157 



breed murder and feud.' Teucer, the great archer, for- 
getful of Apollo, fails to win the prize." Mercilessly do 
the gods destroy those who contemn them, or boastfully 
compare themselves with the deathless ones, — witness 
mute Niobe turned to an enduring monument of a god- 
dess' wrath.' Hard is the anger of a god ; * woe to mortals 
who strive with thtm, though with first success, for the 
gods bide their revenges ; ' ' not long-lived is he who fights 
with immortals, nor shall his children prattle on the 
knees of him coming from war and dread battle."' 
Prayers and sacrifices are the means of obtaining from the 
gods what is desired and the resources of those who have 
incurred divine anger. " The gods themselves may be 
bent, and them with the odor of sacrifice and with grate- 
ful vows, with libations and the smoke of meat-offerings 
men supplicating turn, so oft as any one transgresses and 
errs."' 

Mightiest and wisest of the gods' was Zeus whose 
plans endure,' whose will no other god could baffle.* He 
is stronger than the other gods combined." 

He alone never descends amone warring Greeks . *"f *" 

, _. . , ... .the Other 

and Trojans, but sends his messengers and Gods. 

dreams, while he sits on Olympus or the peaks 

of Ida rejoicing in his glory." Since he is matchless in 

knowledge and strength, his promises come to pass, when 

affirmed with an Olympus- shaking nod of the dark brows." 

'/;.. u. 533. 

*//., xxUi. 863. 

.*//.. xxiv. 602 ; see It., ii, 595 ; t, 406 ; CV., HW, aa6. 

^//.,v, 178. 

'77., V, 407. 

*//., ix, 494. The conception of the gods as partisan allies is clear in 
Homer. So speaks Parts to Helen after his duel with Menelans : "Woman, 
uphraid me not with thy harsh reproAchcs. Nov indeed Menelaus has 
conquered, irith Athene. Another time 1 may him, for there arc also gods 
with Ds." — //., iii, 438, 

' /7.. Mil. 631. '* //., »ni, 17 ; MO, 19J. 

•//., xxiv. 88. " //.. vjii, 51. 

• Orf., T, 104. " //., i, 5*4' 



158 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



Zeus knows gratitude, at times he is moved to pity,* and 
prayer he may answer ; but little gratuitous benevolence 
is looked for from him. Is not wisdom largely guile, 
whereby one accomplishes ends and overcomes enemies ? 
Whose guile shall equal that of wisest Zeus? Without 
compunction he sends a lying dream to Agamemnon," 
and again he sends Athene to make the Trojans violate 
an oath.' When he is angry he is harsh,* threatens to 
hurl to Tartarus any god disobeying him ; * again, he 
threatens to flog Hera, who always thwarts and angers 
him, and reminds her how once he hung her up with 
anvils hanging from her feet." Of the gods, Apollo and 
Athene are most dear to him, but he cares little for them 
all; seated on Olympus, he laughs with delight, seeing 
them join battle among themselves/ But even from the 
standpoint of the accomplishment of one's own pleasure, 
Zeus is not perfect. Though his will cannot be baffled, 
it may be pestered, and he too must grieve at the death 
of his son Sarpedon ; * his wisdom is not complete, very 
far is he from omniscience, he may be deceived. 

The wife and sister of Zeus, and therefore the most 
powerful of the goddesses, is Hera, the self-willed queen, 
the violent partisan of the Greeks, the unappeasable hater 
of Troy. She is chief actor in two of the episodes * which 
have made men think that Homer was a mocker of bis 
gods, whereas he was an artist. No gracious divinity was 
Hera the queen, but she had beauty and strength and 
wily wisdom to work her will; so she was an admirable 
figure in the eyes of Homeric Greeks, even in her rage as 
sl»e snatches Artemis' bow and beats her with it." 

A beautiful figure is Phoebus the bright, Apollo bom 
in light," the best of the gods," even in Homer god of 

' 77., m. 340 ; /t, aii, 167. ■//.. x». 17. 

•//.,«, 6. '//.. Jtxi. 389. 

»//.. IT. 69. •//.. xri. 431. 

*SeB/t, viii. 470. • //.. 1. 530-610; yjf., m, 153, etc 

'//.. Tiii, 13. '*/A. xxi. 479. 

" The only coanection in the epics between Apoilo Biid the swi lie* in 
the name ^olfioi, and snch oo epithet u kvHTfyerrji, bom 10 Itgbc. Uelias 
Is the SuD god in the epics. ** IL, xu, 413. 



HOMER, 



«59 



prophecy and song;' his is the lyre which sounds before 
the gods when the sweet-voiced Muses sing in turn," his 
arc the gentle darts, bringers of peaceful death to men.' 
Apollo is always in harmony with Zeus; "dear Phcebus," 
the latter calls him ; and he never comes in direct conflict 
with another god. On the day when the gods fight in 
the Trojan plain, Poseidon says to him, "Phcebus, why 
hold we aloof from each other? It is not seemly, since 
the others have begun; — the more shame if we return to 
Olympus without a fight."' Him answered the lord, 
far-shooting Apollo: "Earth-shaker, thou wouldst not 
call me wise if I fought with thee because of miserable 
mortals, who, like leaves, now are quick with life, then 
perish inanimate." So saying he turned away, for he 
shrank from the combat out of respect for his father's 
brother. 

Athene is the daughter of Zeus,' and dear to him not 
on that account alone, but because through her wisdom 
she obeys him; only once she starts with Hera to help 
the Greeks against his commands. Yet she has no afifec- 
^tion for Zeus, and when his words displease her she is 
eized with Herce wratli; but sits silently brooding her 
purposes.* In the Iliad ^^ is inteSligence in arms, never 
blind raging force, like Ares. In the Odyssey she is the 
ready counsellor, in resources and wiles surpassing other 
divinities, as Odysseus does other mortals. In both epics 
she is goddess of fine art and handicraft, endowing men 
and women with skill,' or herself fashioning articles of 
female apparel ; " and already she has a temple at Athens.' 

The remaining divinities represent less intellectual 
traits of mankind. There is Poseidon, the Earth-shaker, 
brother of Zeus. Jealous and envious, in the Iliad he 
complains to Zeus of the wall the Greeks have built with- 

» //.. i, 72, 603 ; CW.. viy, 79, 488. * //. rri. 435. 

*//..!. 603. '//.. iv. 515. 

» //., xxiT. 759. • //., nr. «> : II., viH. 457- 

1 //., V, SQ : £>(/., Tiii. 493 ; vi, 332 ; tU, 110 : xx, 7a. 

'//., xiv, 17S ; V, 733 ; ix, 390. 

•A, it, 537; f/. Od., vii,78. 



i6o 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



out a hecatomb to the gods, which will make men forget 
the wall built by himself and Apollo for Laomedon ; ' in 
the Odyssey he shows little beyond violent rancor.' 
Then there is mad Arcs, with his shout equal to the cry 
of ten thousand men. He is stupid, adulterous, the per- 
sonification of rage, unrestrained, yet impotent. He is 
the all too-frequent companion of laughing, loving, golden 
Aphrodite, goddess of womanly beauty and of love. 
When Aphrodite, inexpert in war, is wounded by Dio- 
mede, she flies to borrow the horses of her dear brother 
Ares to escape to Olympus ; * and Arcs, when overwhelmed 
by the stone thrown by Athene, is helped from the field 
by Aphrodite till she too feels the wrath of the w^ar god-l 
dess.* In the Odyssey Aphrodite is the wife of Hephaes- 
tus; and there Ares and the frail goddess form the 
centre of a scene of exquisite humor." The kindest and 
saddest of divinities is Achilles' mother, Thetis of the 
silver feet, daughter of the Old Man of the Sea. She it 
was unwilling who was forced to wed a mortal,* and bear 
to her grief a glorious short-lived son. Kind deeds has 
she done for other gods; in the Iliad s\it is motherhood 
in tears. There also hover in the epics shadowy forms, 
the Erinyes, wanderers in mist and darkness, avengers 
bringing the remorse, ill-luck, and punishment which 
come on earth to murderers, swearers of false oaths, mal- 
trcators of parents, or despisers of supplicants ; the Muses, 
and the Charites, spirits of beauty and loveliness; Ath, 
Folly, who entangles men, walks over their heads and 
takes away their wits ; the Litas. Prayers of repentance, 
who halting and with downcast eyes follow after fleet At^ 
to heal the harm.* 

The Homeric gods are creations in perfect truth to 
human nature, and perfect individualities. In part 
because of their very clear plastic definiteness^ will the 



' //., TiU 44a ; e/. Od.^ v. 118. » //., t. 357. 

• (w:, i. ». 63. '//..xii, 416. 

* OJ,, riii, 26, etc The U7 of Ocmodociu. 

' //., xviii, 432. » /t, II. 50*. 



BOMER^ 



idi 



erious Greek thought, searching for truth, sever its sense 
of divine and natural law from such divinities. Even in 
the epics, though no god does any act inconsistent with 
his character, there come expressions showing that ethical 
thought is rising above this inimitably drawn pantheon. 
Especially in references to Zeus, orto " the gods " collec- 
tively, there is a tendency to ascribe higher ethical traits 

^o them.' 

H Where facts are to be observed, Homer observes them, 
and does not frame his judgment to his wish. For exam- 
ple, hatred of death docs not lead his views as 
to life after death beyond his opinions ^'^g**^*^*-**-!. Death 
ing the nature of man. Of the body, he knew 
much; knew many of its parts, and formed erroneous 
but not self-contradictory conceptions of their functions. 
The body was the palpable part of man, himself in fact 
— Achilles' wrath sent many spirits of heroes to Hades, 
and gave tfumsclves as a prey to dogs and vultures.' Ho- 
mer had hardly conceived of mind as an immaterial prin- 
ciple — but quick was the flight of thought. Hera speeds 
from the peaks of Ida as darts the mind [yooi') of one 
who, having travelled much, thinks in his heart, "if I were 
here or there." ' 

At death the breath, or spirit, the '^vxn^ left the man 
and became his shade, while he himself was dissolved by 
corruption, or burned by fire; the knowing, loving, hat- 

jpg, acting man perished, nought surviving but the shad- 

^pry, strengthless image. The gods freed a few mortals 
from death. Menelaus, because he had Helen to wife, 
they carried to the Elysian plain at the bounds of the 
earth "where life is easiest ; no snow is there, nor storm, 
but always Oceanus sends the west wind to blow cool on 
men;"' and a loftier immortality was given Heracles, 
whose shade Odysseus sees in Hades, but " he himself 
rejoices with the gods at their banquets, and has Hebe 
of the lovely feet to wife." * 

^ See Od.^ xir. 83 and //., iv. 160. 
l«//.. i. 3. ■//.. OT. 8 : </. Od., vu, 36. < Od., iT. 561. • <W.. ri, 601. 



l62 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



So when the hero falls, there he lies; and the i'vytf 
" flying from his body goes to Hades bewailing its fate, 
leaving strength and youth." ' The fluttering thing can- 
not even pass the hateful gates of the " abodes fearful, 
dank,"* until funeral rites arc performed. Patroclus' 
shade comes in the night to Achilles: " ' Thou sleepest, 
and hast forgotten me, Achilles. Bury me quickly that 
I may pass the gates of Hades; the shades drive me away, 
the phantoms of men outworn, nor suffer me to join them 
beyond the river. So I do but wander up to the wide- 
gated house of Hades. And now give me thy hand. I 
beseech thee with tears; for never again shall I come 
back from Hades after ye have burned mc on the pyre.* 
' Why, dear one, hast thou come hither, and why bid me 
do these things? Surely all thou askest will I perform. 
But stand nearer; for a little let us throw our arms about 
each other, and take our fill of wailing.' So saying, 
Achilles reached out his hands, but grasped nothing; for 
tike smoke the shade was gone beneath the ground with 
a faint cry. And Achilles sprang up, and smote his hands 
together in grief, 'Alas! so there exists even in Hades a 
breath {i^vxv), and a semblance, but nothing to it! For 
all night long has the shade of wretched Patroclus stood 
over me, wailing and making moan, and marvellously Uke 
to himself.' " ' 

The shades were fluttering images of men outworn, j 
Not only body and its strength were lacking; strength of 
mind and intelligence were gone. Unreal and senseless 
were the thoughts of shades — forgetful shades who must 
be given blood to drink before they can recognize Odys- 

> U, zri. 8s6 : nil, 362. ■ 77., xx. 6$. 

' //., xxiii, 69, etc. FuDcrai ritesweie thedneor the dead (//., rri, 457), 
which the liviug performed from aflection or dread lest the onqoiet shade 
draw OD them the anger of the goda ((?</., u, 73). Their ctesr purpose vas 
that the &hade might enter Hades where it woaU have dolorons compaatoo* 
ship. But it may be inferred from the rites that they had the farther par- 
pose of Biting oot (he shade for existence in Hades ; for the arms and thingp ■ 
mmt dear to the dead matt were bamed with him, aod in Hades the i 
might use them. 



HOMER, 



I6j 



at the 



Jth of their dark 



A certain wavering 
memory and thought have they, enough to tantalize, not 
enough to enable them to hold comfortable converse of 
their past lives — " their utterance was like the twittering 
of bats." * Only the shade of the prophet Teiresias had 
strength and intelligence, for " Persephone gives him 
raind even when dead and he alone has understanding,"' 
Small chance for reward and punishment among such 
shadows! Desolate was the fate of the pious and the 
impious, hero and coward. Minos sits awarding shadowy 
dooms/ — what mattered they to the phantoms! Three 
arrogant mortals, who had contemned the gods, were 
saved by them for infernal punishment.* But crimes 
against men met their retribution, if at all, on earth, where 
valor and prudence also had their reward. 

Thus Homeric views of existence after death outran but 
little primitive logical inferences from life's data. The 
two most clearly seeing of ancient peoples, the Hebrews 
and the Greeks, were slow to reach any fuller conception 
of a future life. Only the Greeks did not restrain their 
plastic imagination, must even here visuaJize their dark 
conceptions. "Then," says Odysseus, " I saw the shade 
of Heracles, and about him was the clamor of the dead as 
of birds, flying on all sides scared ; but he like black night 
held his naked bow and an arrow on the string, glancing 
6ercely as about to shoot." ' 

Homer's eager Achsans had begun to think on life. 
They knew it was short, and hoped for little after it, so 
it sometimes seemed a slight thing. " Why 
dost thou ask my race?" says Glaucus' to 
Diomcdc, " even as tlie generations of leaves 
are the generations of men. The wind scatters the leaves 



ThoDGfhts 
on Lille. 



»Ctf.,xi, 568. 

* Od., xi, 575. Tityns. TAntalas. and Sisyphus. 



■ Od.^ x»v. 6. 
^ Od.,x, 493. 

• Od.. xi, 605. 

* //.. Ti, 146. Young Glaucos more that) any other character in the /Had 
b tinged with melancholy ; he was desceniJed from one vrham the gods' 
hatred drove crazed to wander opart (rom men. 



I6* 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



upon the ground, and in the spring the forest buds and 
puts forth others. So one generation of men bloonis. 
anon it passes away. ' * The epics often touch on life's 
brevity, and often comes the thought of inevitable death 
besetting men in myriad shapes.' Men arc ill-fated;' 
*' there is nothing more wretched than man among all 
things that breathe and creep upon the earth/' says 
Zeus.' And besides the woe of its brevity, life was 
grievous in other respects. The tone of the Odyssey is 
given in two frequently recurring lines, " thence we sailed 
on afflicted in heart, glad to escape death, having lost our 
dear comrades." * The gods devise evil,* nor does Zeus 
accomplish the thoughts of man.' After many wander- 
ings, Menelaus is safe at home with Helen; but he has 
not great joy in his possessions, — his brother Agamem- 
non had been murdered!' Human lots were but the 
sweepings of celestial mansions. Those men are fortu- 
nate into whose lives comes joy as well as sorrow. Yet 
the Achxans loved life eagerly, never doubting the worth 
of its prizes. It was short, more the pity; but how filJed 
with joys and griefs, well worth shunning or striving for 
while life lasted. The great sorrow was death when it 
came. Others might tire of life because short and disap- 
pointing, but in Homer none are tired except the dead — 
o{ tuxfiovTBf i all are eager, feeling grief, yet knowing not 
its weariness ; hating death, yet not embittered with life 
because of it. 

Homer's was not a contemplative age. The wbdom 
of the epics is taught by the action of the heroes, the cur- 
rent of the story, and the outcome of It all. Some clear 
ethical utterances are there fitting the occasion, and a few 
general reflections are found — a man does not excel in 
everything — love catches womankind/ Much more may 

" //., xii. 336. « Orf., ir. 6a ; X, 133, 

' iJvtfri7KOf, a £iequent epltlieL * OJ., t, 234. 

* II., XTU, 446. • 77,, xriii. 318. 
' Od.. iv. 00. 

• //., xxiii, 670 ; OJ., iv, 421 ; c/. IL^ xiii. 7*9 j Odf,, viii, 167. 



HOMBR, 



165 



be learned from the flashing light which makes up 
Achilles' life, or the noble picture of Odysseus, more 
complex, more slowly drawn. Only in the idea of fate 
the experience and knowledge of the age were combined 
in a judgment upon life of universal application. 

Nature and life offer to men's notice certain ordinary 
courses in the occurrence of phenomena, whence rise 
notions of usual results from given circum- 
stanccSf of consequent regularly following its M.-ofFrnte 
antecedent, cause regularly operative in effect. 
The normal courses of things had been observed by the 
Greeks, though they provided everything in nature with 
a guiding spirit. The actions of men depended immedi- 
ately upon the doers' wills, yet also generally followed 
usual courses. Human beings were bom, grew up, had 
a share of sorrow, a taste of happiness, became decrepit 
with advancing years, and most inevitably died. In gen- 
eral, human affairs followed courses warranting prediction. 
If a stronger host went against a weaker one, though each 
had its heroes and its aiding deities, probably the 
stronger host would win. If an eager, valiant, over- 
weening youth went to a distant war, probably he would 
gain fame, and probably, though dear to the gods, his 
life would be short; if an older man, valiant and strong, 
sagacious and cunning, went to the same war, it was 
likely that he would survive, likely even that he would 
sec his home and prudent wife again. 

Such events, in accordance with probabilities, seemed 
to come from the nature and relations of things. But if 
the gods could affect human actions, and were also 
thought the mainspring of action in the world about man, 
why did natural phenomena as well as the actions of men 
follow usual courses? Each human being was an individ- 
ual living out his own life; each god was a superhuman 
individual subject to Zeus, yet in large part doing his 
own will. But all natural objects, brutes, and human 
things had certain characteristics, natures, tendencies; 



t66 



ANCIENT WEALS, 



the general outcome was the obser\'cd course of affairs. 
And as human wills and actions followed usual courses, 
it was conceived that the wills and actions of the little 
more than human gods would also follow usual courses, 
harmonizing with the inherent natures and tendencies 
of men and gods and things. 

Moreover, if the action of individuals or of indepen- 
dent causes seemed arbitrary, there was an element of 
the inevitable contained in effects. Melius might threaten 
to mount the heavens no more; but if he did, it was inev- 
itable that light for gods and men should issue from him. 
So the hero might stay his hand, or some god might turn 
his spear; but if the spear did strike, and was stopped 
by no sufficient armor, it would pierce. The elements 
of the ine\'itable might consist in results arising from 
the relations of men and things, or might inhere in 
their natures, as it inhered in the nature of man to die, 
of a stone to fall. Events whose necessity came from 
the inherent nature of things and men were certain; 
those which inevitably sprang from contacts and relations 
could be prevented only by preventing such from taking 
place. Then finally men could act only in certain modes, 
and though gods could act in other and further modes, 
even they could not act in any mode. And as matter of 
fact, affairs went on in usual courses in accord with ante- 
cedent probabilities, which in their turn were inferences 
from former regular courses of events. 

These universal elements of the inevitable or probable 
constitute the fundamentals of the Homeric conception 
of fate as an all-pervading and ordinarily resistless power 
inherent in circumstances and in the natures of men and 
things and gods, a power essentially blind, brute, and 
implacable, and though almighty, yet from lack of con- 
sciousness, spontaneity, and intelligence, utterly helpless 
to be or act otherwise tlian as it does, — a necessity for all, 
a necessity unto itself. It was the early Greek pha<ic of 
the Indo-Gcrmanic tendency to discern potency outside 
the will and power of personally conceived divinity. 



BOMER. 



167 



Tt was a natural growth of the conception, that fate 
should be conceived not only as inevitable, but ascertain- 
able— by the gods at least — and declarable in advance.' 
Then one step more and the fate of the individual is con- 
ceived as determined and known from his birth, or before 
it. And with epic consistency the fate of each man har- 
monizes with his character. Then the conception drew 
to itself two connotations: First, human lives are hard, 
and the one sure event in them is death. So fate came 
to carry the idea of death as the most inevitable, fated, 
fatal event in life. Secondly, men become accustomed 
to the usual courses of events around them, become used 
to the relations and effects of thin^ In life. What is 
usual tends to gain acquiescence and approval. The idea 
of fate was the broad expression of the usual and the 
inevitable, and thus acquired the connotation of proper. 
Therefore to disturb the course of fate was improper, to 
act against fate was wrong. The gods, who are wiser 
than men, are watchful over fate; knowing that which !s 
to come, and which ought to come, they help bring it 
about. 

Homer uses five words to express fate and the personal 
lot of man,^/ior/3flr, ^opo^f aha^ xrfp and tcot^os. Ex- 
cepting the two first, these are neither identical in mean- 
ing nor from the same root. But they are sometimes 
used interchangeably, that is, some one of them in a 
sense more peculiar to another.* Jlor/iOS and xi)p carry 

' We might err in speaking of it as pre-ordained, for that wouI<] imply an 
antecedent catise. which Homer neither asserts nor denies. With him fate 
is nmply there, and has been there from former times, 

' These different words indicate the complex origin of the Homeric idea 
of fate. Mo?p(T(/io/>oS)isfrom the same root vfiih fie {po^cn ^ to apportion 
' or receive as a portion ; aula is from the same root wilii TtfoS, like, cquaJ. 
floT/ioi is from the root ;rer, found in smroff, to foil, and in xerofiittf 
to fly (perhaps also, to fall. Oi/., xii, 303), and so might mean the personal 
lot which falls oat when the helmet is shaken (//., vii, 183). It has an evil 
meaning, cairying the stgnificatioD of "death." A man meets "death" 
and icoTfioi, or simply meets noTftoif as we say " meets his fate." See 
//.. ii. 359 i *i. 4^2 ; xv, 495 ; xx, 337 ; </. Od., xvii, 131 and //., xviii, 76. 
K^p is from the same root with xttpca, to cut off, and in meaning is always 



i63 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



the notion of death, the most universal fact that touches 
man. ^^^Py however, is the usual word for man's personal 
lot, which, wind as it may, always ends in death. " My 
mother," says Achilles, " Thetis of the silver feet, said 
that one of two diverse fates {6txOa6iai Htfpas) would 
bring mc to my death : if abiding here I fight about the 
city of the Trojans, my return is cut ofE, though my fame 
shall be imperishable; but if I fare homewards to my 
dear native land, my great fame perishes, but my life 
shall be long." ' 

Homer's usual words to express destiny are ftoTpa 
{^opoi) and acha.' Both may mean portion or part, due 
portion, then that portion established or apportioned by 
fate, then fate itself, destiny; and both may carry the 
thought of "right." These meanings may be followed in 
the epics.' 

connected with death, indeed nsaally means the death tllotted to emch 
mortal. Tn many places in the I/tad s prudent warrior, by retreating or 
dodging a spear-eist. escapes rc^q- See /. g. //., xiv. 462 : <*/. //., iil. 6, and 
//., xxiv, Sa. Kfffl is often joined with adjecUvcs meaniitg evil or deadly, 
«. g. //., iii, 454 ; and //.. xii, 336 speaks of xr}fiei Sardroio ftvfiiax, the 
myriad dooms of death, which no mortal can escape. 
' //.. ix, 410. 

• MoTpa = xtjp (pennnH fated death) in Od., II. too. So in Od., ivii, 
396, ttotfta Qayaroto ncizcs the dog Argos. It is frequently joined with 
adjectives of evil significance, t. g., o\a^ or xax^. The deadly significa- 
tion of ai6a appears in the phrase tatStpov r^ftap, the fate<l day. //., xxi, 
100. 

* Mo^fXX, e. g., means a part or portion, then doe portion, as one'i proper 
share of booty, or meat at a feast. See in succession £);/., iv, 97 ; //., rvi, 
68; 0</., xi, 534 : "■• 40', xvii. 353 ; xx, 171 and 360. Penelope tells 
Od)'S5eu5, " men may not stay awalte always, for the immortals have set 
a time {MoTpizr) for erexything," Od., xix, SQi- rotyphoniu milks Ini 
ewes in dne order (wm-rf /toTpciv). Od.. ix, 345, 309, 34a ; the Trojan* 
flee from the Greeic camp not xard fioTfXtr, //., xvi. 367; </. //.. xii, 
235. The Greeks listen respectfully {xard uotfMr) while Agaaemaott ^ 
takes hit oath, //.. xix, 350. To speak Kara titfCfictv is to say what ta 
proper or just (//., i, 2S6), or as when Meoelaus is asked to interprert aa 
omen he pauses in order that he may answer aright, Hard ftotpar, Odi, 
XT. 170. And finally Odyssens referring to Polyphemns' violation of ffaa 
rights of suppliants, and his bloody meal, tells him that be has acted not 
Hard fidlpay, i. e., unrighteously, Od., Ix, 353. 



ffOMER. 



169 



It is doubtful whether fate is personified by Homer 
except as a manner of poetical speech.' With him it is 
merely a unification of all the inherent forces of things 
into a universal impersonal power. No prayer is ever 
addressed to it, nor is it ever said to doubt or hesitate or 
consider, as do all men and gods. Neither does it ever 
act with a motive.* 

Destiny is over all, and the lot of each man is " spun 
for him " at birth;* Hector bids his wife not to 
grieve, "for no man against fate shall hurl me to 
Hades, and I think no man escapes fate, coward or 
brave."* Such thoughts seem to compass every event, 
leaving nothing to chance or arbitrary wiU. But Ho- 
mer's idea of fate merely reflects the apparent course 
of events. A human lot hangs apparently on three 
matters — will, chance, and, lastly, there are events neces- 
sarily fated, like decrepitude and death. The conclu- 
sions of a more advanced time may exclude one or more 
of these factors. Not so Homer. Frequently events 
are on the point of turning out against fate, and twice 
unfated events occur.* 

When Agamemnon, to try the host, proposes to give 
up the war, and the men rise with a shout and rush to the 
ships, a return against fate would have happened had not 



' K^fi U poeticmllj penoniBed in one of the sceaes on Achilles* sliield, 
//., xviii, 535. 

* The YanoDS terms mcftTimg fate ate sometimes lie subjects of actlTC 
Tcrbs. X)X(nf fioipa causes Hector to remain without the walK//., xxii, 5; 
Hotpa Kparauf urges TIepolcmus against Surpedon, //., v, 639. f»ce aLw 
//., T, 613 ; xiii, 602 ; xxi, 83 ; and compare //., xix, 87, 410 ; xvi, S49 ; 
xziT, 49. ao9 ; and 0*/., vii, 107 with //., xx. 137. i9ai'ara« was poetically 
pcnontfied quite as mach as fate. e.^. //., v, 83 ; xvi, 334. 580, We still 
say " death overtook him." There are clear instances of poetical personifi- 
cation in Homer, where no personality is really attributed. Thus the arrow 
leaps eager or raging to Oy, //., iv, 12$. 

* Od.. vii, 197 ; //., XX, 127 ; xxiv, 210. 
•//.. vi. 487. C/. //., xviii, 117. 

* Tlie phrases are v/tep ttolpaVf xntep <x^6aY ; more common Is the 
compound vrcepMopor. 



Z70 



A^fCIENT IDEALS, 



Hera sent Athene to prevent it.' In the sixteenth book 
of the liiad, the *' sons of the Achxans would have taken 
high-gated Troy by the hands of Patroclus," had not 
Apollo forced him back from the wall, striking with his 
immortal hands the shining shield of the hero: ** Back, 
Zeus-bom Patroclus! it is not fated that Troy shall fall 
beneath thy spear, nor beneath the spear of Achilles, a 
far better man than thou."* In these instances the 
course of fate was only threatened ; but in the same six- 
teenth book Patroclus kills Hector's charioteer, and the 
even conflict sways to and fro about the body till, as the 
sun is setting, the Achseans prevail over the Trojans 
against fate.* 

All these were occurrences affecting multitudes. Some- 
times an unfated event threatens or falls upon an indi- 
vidual. In the twentieth book of the Iliad, Apollo has 
roused /Eneas to stay the slaughtering career of Achilles; 
the heroes meet, and ^Hneas is like to be slain. At this 
point Poseidon tells Hera that it were shameful for 
jEneas, whose gifts were always pleasing to the gods, to 
die deceived by Apollo; and he adds: "It is fated 
{^6f*i^ov) for him to escape, that the race of Dardanus 
perish not." ' So Poseidon sheds a mist over Achilles' 
eyes, snatches up .£ncas and sets him again on the earth. 
far off at the edge of the battle, saying: " i£neas, what 
one of the gods is urging thee infatuate thus to contend 
with the son of Pcleus, who is mightier than thou and 
dearer to the gods ? Rather give way whenever thou 
mcctcst him, lest against fate thou enter the house of 
Hades. But when Achilles has met death, then emboid- 
ened do thou fight amongst the foremost, for none other 
of the Achacans shall sUy thee." ' In another instance 

' A. i. ISS; tte VQfdlrt>2>V» vaed.wfaicll«riolf dewM 



* A. ni, A9IL Sa* alM It^ nti, 319 ; ax, 19 ; ni, 515. 

• A. rri, }to («««# ojtter). 



HOMER, 



m 



the act contrary to fate is accomplished. Near the open- 
ing of the Odyssey ' Zeus exclaims to the gods about 
him; " Forsooth, how mortals blame the gods! For 
they say that evils come from us, but they even of them- 
selves have sorrows beyond (or contrary to) what is fated, 
just as now ^Egisthus contrary to fate married the wife of 
Atrides, and slew him on his return, knowing the utter 
destruction [it would bring], since, having sent Hermes, 
we warned him not to kill the man nor marry his wife; for 
vengeance should come from Orestes when he should 
reach manhood. So Hermes spoke, but prevailed not 
on the mind of i^gisthus, though advising him for his 
good. And now he has paid atonement in full measure." 
Finally, in certain other instances, a man might have 
escaped his fate, but did not. Ajax Oileus, cast upon the 
rock, would have escaped his fate,' though hated by 
Athene, had he not lot fall a proud word, saying that, 
despite the gods, he had escaped the gulf of the sea; 
then Poseidon smote the rock, and Ajax perished in the 
brine. Likewise had Patroclus regarded Achilles' behest 
not to pursue the Trojans, he would have escaped the 
evil fate of black death; " but always the mind (»'(>of) 
of Zeus is stronger than the mind of men." ' 

The Olympians did not create the world and mankind. 
Accordingly Homer did not think of Zeus as having in 
all respects absolute power over beings which 
were not his creations. But the power of Zeus 
is tremendous to shape events. Its limita- 
tions lie in the qualities which inhere in things and con- 
stitute their natures, and in what is thereby necessitated. 
He did not create these qualities and he cannot change 
them, although he can often direct or hem in their effects. 
It is inherent in the nature of man to die; within the range 
of fate nothing is more fated than death. Homer broadly 
states that " the gods cannot ward off death common to 
all, even from a man who is dear, when the destroying 

' Od,, i, 3a. ' Od.. iv, 499, e<pvy& xifpa. ' //., xvi, 385. 



The Gods 
and Fate. 



I/J 



AUCIENT IDEALS. 



(ate of death takes him down." ' Yet Zeus, seized wiC 
pity at the sight of his son Satpedon about to join battle 
with Patroclus, exclaims to Hera: " Alas me ! that Sar- 
pedon, dearest to me of men, is doomed to be overcome 
by Patroclus ! And my heart within me is divided, 
whether snatching him up safe from tearful battle I will 
set him down in rich Lycia, or whether I will now over- 
come him by the hands of the son of Menoetius." Hera 
answers : '* Dread son of Saturn, what word hast thou 
spoken ! a mortal man long ago doomed by fate wouldst 
thou wish to loose from death ? Do it. But we otbc 
gods will not approve." " 

Just as human cnci^y or lust might cany events against 
fate, much more might Zeus, But there is no suggestion 
that the gods can turn the courses of fate and make it 
operate in some changed way. The gods are wise, they 
respect the inherent nature of things and the fated order 
of events; and since the ultimate reason in Homer why 
every god and man refrains from carrying out his de^e 
is the fear of evil to come upon himself, the inference, if 
somewhat far, is not unjustified that the gods respect fate 
lest by acting contrary to it they overthrow themselves 
along with the established order. 

Gods may have other — partisan — reasons for upholding 
the course of fate. They usually interfere to prevent vio- 
lations of it which would favor the side they hate. Had 
not Hera and Athene prevented the return of the Greeks, 
Troy, so hated by these goddesses, would have remained 
undcstroyed. Apollo upholds fate by preventing the 
Greeks from capturing before its time the city dear to 
him. Poseidon's rescue of j^neas is more disinterested, 
for Poseidon was hostile to Troy, and saves i^neas 
because of the many sacrifices of that staid warrior, and 
also lest it anger Zeus, whose regard for fate is broad and 
impartisan.' 

Fate is more inevitable in so far as dependent excll 

> (V.. »i. 236. 

■/f., vii, 431-433. See ilw /L, xxii, 168. *See //., n. yx 



HOMER. 



173 



sively on the innate nature of things which Zeus did not 
create. He is the ruler over all. Though innate quah'- 
tics arc beyond his power, the mutual relations and effects 
of men and things are within it. Universal is the ten- 
dency of all things, men as well^ to act according to their 
natures. This tendency, which constitutes the less in- 
evitable element of fate, coincides, so far as mortals see, 
■with the will of Zeus who wisely recognizes it. Conse- 
quently, fate sometimes appears a power above Zeus, 
and again subject to his will, or one and the same with it. 

It is said that Zeus knows all things, what is allotted 
and what is not allotted for mortals.' But he does not 
foreknow everything that is to happen, for he doubts as 
to what he shall do,' and one feels that the series of 
events making up the //w^were not foreknown to Zeus. 
The fiovXth the will or plan of Zeus, was being accom- 
plished from the time when first Atrides and Achilles 
parted, having quarrelled;* but he had not conceived this 
plan before Thetis came a suppliant and be^ed him to 
avenge her son. 

The fiovXt) 4i6s was accomplished,*— a will, however, 
no way contrary to fate. Achilles says, " I deem I have 
been honored by the decree of Zeus,**' ^wS or/ira, a 
phrase showing how fate and Zeus's will are so at one 
that fate may sometimes be regarded as coming from him. 
This frequent phrase always refers to matters within the 
province of Zeus to regulate.* So speaks Odysseus over 
the slain wooers, ^dlpac 6ewv overthrew them, and their 

' Otf., XX, 76. 

* //., ii, 3, he considers how he shall fnlfit his promise to Thetis. /T.. i, 
520, Zeus sends Thetis off secretly lest Hera find out ; but Hen does 
find oat, which Zeus cannot have foreknown. 

• /T., i. 5. 

* The phrase ^toi roTffta^ //., rvii, 409, seems equivalent in meAning. 

•y/., ix. 908. 

• Thus in OJ., ix, $2, the evil OtOa of Zeus wis that the Cicones should 
put to flight Odysseus and his men ; in (M,. xi, 61 it is the evil daiuorot 
at6a, which together with wine causes the death of Elpeoor, who falls froni 
the roof when drunk. In //., xvij, 321, again, thnmgb the ^loi adSav the 
Creeks get the better of the Trojans. 



174 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



evil deeds;' and he says to the shade of Ajax, Zeus is to 
blame, he laid thy doom on thee.' Lycaon tells Achilles, 
ytoipa oXot'f has placed me again in thy hands, I must be 
hated by Zeus.' And in answer to Achilles, Xanthus, 
the immortal steed, tells him that on that day they will 
bear him safe, though near him is the day of destruction, 
— neither are we to blame, but a great god and strong 
fate.* 

And how does Zeus himself speak of fate? In the fifth 
book of the Odyssey he sends Hermes to announce to 
Calypso the " firm decree {vrffiepria ^ovXrjv) the return 
of Odysseus, how he is to come to his home with no 
escort of gods or men ; but, suffering hardship on a raft, 
on the twentieth day shall he arrive at the land of the 
Phaeactans, who shall send him with much treasure to his 
dear fatherland; for in this manner is it fate for htm 
{oi fioipd) to see his friends and come to his lofty house." * 
Here the "firm decree " — presumably of Zeus — is in con- 
tents identical with what is fate for Odysseus; the two 
correspond, yet may not have the same source.' Again 
is the full accord between fate and the will of Zeus seen 
in the passage where Zeus holds up the scales to announce 
that the moment for Hector's death is come. In the 
eager chase, pursuer and pursued have sped three times 
around Troy, "but when for the fourth time they reached 

' Od., xxil, 413 ; see Od., zi, agi. 

* OJ., li, 560. 
•/?..xxi. 83. 

* n., xix, 408. The god referred to is ApoUo, but Apollo directed hf 
Zeus. So the gods deviie ■ nun'a doom for him, Od., Ui, 243 ; compAre 
Oti,, xxii, 14, when Odjrsseus prepares death and x^pu for the wooen. In 
H,, xxil, 365, Achilles iajs he will accept his xifpa whenever Zeus and the 
other gods bring it about. 

* OJ., V, 30. For thb use of ol fidpa see aljo /T, vii, 5s : zr, 1x7 ; 
wtiH. 80; Od., iv, 475. 

* Compare the phraae <fo2 Qnttptzr^^ which mesns " it is t degiTe oC 
god for thee," which for men is equivalent to " it is fated for thee," — Oitf., 
iv. 561 ; X, 473- See Nigclsbach. f/omerUckt 7%t^ogU. ttj; and r/. /t., 
viii. 477. Throughout one is reminded of the rcUtioa of the Vedic rtis to 
Varunt ; see ati^, chap. iiL 



HOMER. 



175 



the springs, then did the Father poise the golden scales 
and place therein two lots of long-grievous death, the one 
of Achilles, the other of Hector, tamer-of-horses, and 
taking hold at the middle he lifted the scales; and felt 
Hector's fated day and went to Hades, and Phoebus 
Apollo left him."* The fall of Hector's fated day 
announces the course of fate, and Zeus merely holds the 
balance aloft, influencing neither scale. Hector's fated 
day falls by the force of fate, by the power of the course 
and tendency of things, — his hour was come. On the 
other hand, it is not to ascertain whether Hector is then 
to be slain by Achilles that Zeus lifts the scales. The 
death of Hector is already resolved on by Zeus, and 
Athene has been sent to bring it to pass.' And to this 
resolve of Zeus is the hero's death directly due, just as / 
much as to the course of fate. The lifting of the scales / 
announces the fated hour and shows the accord between I 
fate and the will of Zeus. These two are here as always 
in perfect harmony: fate the huge force, the over^vhelm- 
ing dumb tendency of events, and Zeus's will guiding on 
events along the course of fate.' 

It is evident that the Homeric view of fate meant no 
benumbing fatalism. In a solemn moment, Hector might 
pause and regard fate as all powerful, yet he uses the 
thought only to comfort his wife. At times mortals feel 
powerless to control the event. Telemachus, feeling his 
impotence to drive off the wooers, hopelessly tells his 
affairs to the disguised Odysseus, adding, "but now these 
things \i. e.f the outcome] lie on the knees of the gods." * 
Here Telemachus seems to give up. But the same phrase 
is used by warriors about to join in desperate battle, and 
then means " I will do my best, the gods may direct the 

'//., xxii, ao8. 

•See/A, xiii, 166. 

' In //., viii, 69, Zeus also holds up the scales to show forth the fate of 
Che battle, and the Greek lot fulls ; Zeus thunders and the Greeks flee, ai 
in outline Zeua had previoualj determined od> 

' Od., xvi, 129. 



/ 



176 



AlfCIENT IDEALS, 



event." ' Something may be read between the Hnes of 
a passage in the fourth book of the liiad. Menelaus has 
overcome Paris in the duel, and demand has been made 
on the Trojans to fulfil the oaths and give up Helen. 
The truce still continues, and the hosts lie expectant. 
Now the gods hold council in Olympus, and the outcome 
is that Zeus sends Athene to make the Trojans break the 
oath. She darts from Olympus, and like a flaming me- 
teor drops between the hosts. " And wonder seized 
them looking on, horse-taming Trojans and wcll-grcaved 
Achaeans; and thus would one say to his fellow, ' Either 
again there will be evil war and furious strife, or else Zeus 
is about to establish friendship between the sides, even 
he who is the director of the war of men ! * " • So looking 
on this ball of fire, not recognizing a goddess, men felt 
that something was about to take place, and that they 
could not control what it should be. Men are helpless, 
whispers the passage. Yet no reference is made to fate ; 
it is Zeus who is so powerful that men have little hand in 
guiding their destinies. 

Homer and Hesiod made the gods.' The highest Greek 
revelation was the inspiration of the Muse. It is charac- 
teristic of the race from the beginning that it 
did not regard its knowledge or its rules of con- 
duct as revealed by God. In Homer the gods 
constantly communicate with mankind, love and hate 
them with varied feeling ranging through the whole scale 
of human affection, lust, and hate; frequently the gods 
appear to mortals and command or warn them. But 
Zeus promulgates no code of righteousness; he com-' 
mands or forbids specific acts. And it is clear that such 
dramatic presentations of the gods, which sprang from the 
Greek artist soul, afforded no standard of human right- 

* //., xrli, 514 ; XX, 435. In other places the phrmsc cairiH so other fde* 
than that future events aic ia the hands of the gods. See Od.^ i, 967, 40a 

• //., iv.. 79, 
•Sec Herod., ii, 5J. 



Homeric 
Ethics. 



HOMER, 



177 



eousness, or criterion of human sin. These gods were 
nature's children with all the frailties natural to men. 
And as for the righteousness of their governance, why, 
Zeus once sent Athene down from heaven to make the 
Trojans break an oath rendered mviolate by sacrifice to 
Zeus himself. 

Wherein then did the Greeks find the source and sanc- 
tion of their rules of conduct — often broken? Even in 
that which they saw, perceived, and knew. Directly, 
luminously, in ways open to the tests of reason, they 
fashioned rules of conduct from their store of experience. 
In the data of their ethics they included all their knowl- 
edge of man and his environment, and their judgments 
upon life; herein entered their dismal views as to the 
outworn semblances which twittered out Inane existence 
in the underworld, existence far too blank to hold reward 
or punishment ; herein entered their thoughts of the 
results of acts on earth, and also those farthest generali- 
zations upon life which made up the thought of fate; 
herein entered those more plastic expressions of the pow- 
ers which aid or thwart men's lives — those living, human, 
natural gods. These gods were part of life and not above 
it ; yet, since they were rulers of the world, it was impos- 
sible not to think that they stood for more than their 
own whims, even for those further active principles of retri- 
bution which, as the Greeks learned from life, awaited 
the ill-considered, overweening acts of men. Nothing is 
more displeasing to the gods than the insolent pride 
through which men ignore their mortality, and wantonly 
act out their cruel wills — till retribution comes.' " For 
the blessed gods do not love cruel deeds, but they honor 
justice and equitable acts in men." ' Odysseus, dis- 
guised in rags, says to Amphinomus, the least evil of the 
wooers, warning him to remove from among them: '* Of 
all that earth nourishes, nothing is feebler than man, who, 
so long as the gods give him might and sustain his 

' This is the quality of v^ptS which moiks the wooers. ' Od., xiv, 63. 

VOUJ.— II 



178 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



strength of limb, thinks ill will never come upon him. 
But when the blessed gods bring on him woes» then he 
has to bear them with enduring heart. For I too might 
have been prosperous among men, but I did many infat- 
uate deeds* letting my strength do its pleasure, and rely- 
ing on my father and brothers. Therefore let no man 
do evil, but let him possess in silence the gifts of the gods 
whatever they may give." ' 

He then who is wise will reverence the gods in twofold 
mode ; will not foi^et propitiatory offerings to their 
human moods, pleasing them thus as men please men; 
and will refrain from acts which revert upon the doers' 
heads. These Greeks knew life, understood mortal impo- 
tence, and realized the need to supplement it through 
propitiation of the higher powers. " I'ray, stranger, to 
Lord Poseidon, for thou hast chanced on his feast, com- 
ing hither, and when thou hast poured to him and 
prayed, as is right, hand the goblet of sweet wine to thy 
companion to pour therefrom; for I think he too prays 
to the deathless gods, and all men need the gods." " 

Right conduct therefore was the fruit of wisdom,' 
human at source, often aided by divine suggestion. 
Wrong conduct was the fruit of folly. The wise man 
respects the gods, finds out their wishes and obeys; and 
he deals aright with men : — the foolish man does other- 
wise. Wrongdoing was blamed; it brought retribution 
from gods or men ; and in its evil results to the doer lay 
the proof, if not the essence, of its being wrong. Wrong 
was folly; says Agamemnon to Nestor of his wrong to 
Achilles: " You have rightly named my folly; I was a 
fool, nor do I deny it." * 

Inasmuch as the Homeric Achxans were most eager in 
their desires, and saw the sanction of their acts in the 
good or c\'il results to the doer, they admired nothing so 
much as success, that far success which, without tripping. 
wins and holds the thing desired. And it is this quality 



» Od,, xvffl, 130. 



'C/. M.xviti. S9«. 

«V7.. ix, 11$; f/. A, iix,86. 



HOMER, 



179 



of success that from Homer onwards gradually jrathers 
round itself a divineness, and sanctifies the man's life 
if it abide with him to the end. With Homer, quite con- 
sistently, human excellence lay within the compass of the 
two heroic virtues, txpert) and mymtf: the first, physical 

IpAtrength and valor; the second, that mental insight and 
capacity, that prudentia, which combines cunning and 
wisdom as to men, and wisdom and respect as to the 
gods. Under all circumstances the possessor of TCivvxtf 
will see what is best to do, therefore will not err, will not 
do wrong. He will know how rightly to treat his friends, 
how by guile to overthrow his enemies, and how duly to 
respect and obey the gods. It was thought to follow, as 
of course, that this excellent understanding would find 
fitting expression in words, — indeed was it clearly distinct 
from the faculty of speech? — and that as its possessor 
knew good counsels so would he be eloquent. 

Thus the Homeric Acha:ans, being Greeks, reasoned 
on life and fashioned its ideals. Aperi} was the physical 
energy of valorous desire; nivvrrf the clear intelligence 
which reached mortality's far ends. Eagerness to gain 
these ends became in the Achaean soul a burning shame 
of acts which tripped the man pressing along the path of 
far success, or spotted the fair fame which the Greek was 

Kever to love more than life. The heroic passion is to do 
mighty deeds of warfare or adventure, and so win fame and 
wealth. But around it, in the epics, circles a play of trait 

■ftand motive, love and sympathy, which completes the fair 

" contents of mortal life. In Homer the genius of the 
Greek race shows its early chcrishings of all that should 
enlarge the life of man. 

So a full round of human interest comes to expression 
in the liiad and Odyssey. It is all fresh and 
youthful; but it is the youth of a full man. 
In simple mode, Homer's men and women are 
moved by many human sympathies and feel- 
ings; quick their joy, quick their tears; an- 
other's sorrow wakes remembrance in the friendly heart 



The Epic 

Round of 

Human 

Trait. 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



of like sorrows of its own. Terrific is the pathos of the 
scenes of utter heart-break, as that of Hector's death and 
Andromache's fearful hasting to the wall — to see his 
body dragged at Achilles' wheels. Lovely and subtle is 
the pathos of the scenes of mingled feeling — the ^an. 
pvofv yrXtiffaffa of Andromache receiving her child 
back from Hector's arms — or that scene of mingled joy 
and woe when in the halls of Circe the loathsome swine- 
forms drop from Odysseus' comrades, and they embrace 
their rescuer, loudly lamenting, till even the goddess is 
moved to pity ; ' — or that picture of great, unknown 
Odysseus sitting at the Phacacian banquet, while Demodo- 
cus sings of the fierce quarrel between Odysseus and 
Achilles, which had been foretold in the days when the 
woe v.'as about to roll upon the Trojans and Danaans. 
" Such was the song the famous minstrel sang; but Odys- 
seus, with his mighty hands, pulled his cloak over his 
head, for he was ashamed to weep before the Phseacians. 
And whenever the divine minstrel paused, Odysseus 
would uncover his head and taking a goblet pour a liba* 
tion to the gods. But when the song began again, he 
would cover his head and moan."' This bard himself, 
blind Demodocus, shows life's compensations, he whom 
"the Muse loved exceedingly, and gave him good and ill, 
for she took away his sight and gave him sweet song." 

The quick social nature of the Achseans showed itself 
in the glad hospitality extended to all strangers — and no 
wanderers more welcome than " the tribe of minstrels," • 
who sang at feasts the famous deeds of men ; — the gods 
fashioned the fall of Troy that it might be a theme of 
song for future men.* But others sang besides the bards 
— Achilles quells his heart singing to his lyre of the deeds 
of heroes.' And apart from minstrelsy, sweet is joy of 
simple human intercourse between understanding men. 

' Od., nil, 479. 

« O^., viii. 579 ; </, (W., ii, 5 ; xvfi. rjo. 




HOMER, 



iSi 



fysseus and trusty swineherd Eumaeus are supping in 
Eumseus' hut; Odysseus asks Euni^Eus' story, how he 
came to wander from his country, whether his city had 
been sacked, or wherefore. EumEcus answers: "Friend^ 
since you ask me these things, sit now quietly, and be 
glad and drink your wine. The nights are long, and 
there is both time to sleep and time to listen for those 
who like. The others who wish may go forth and sleep 
till dawn, when let them break their fast and follow tl»e 
aaster's swine. But we two will drink and eat and enjoy 
'the story of each other's troubles, recalling them; for 
afterwards a man gets pleasure from his trials, one who 
has suffered much and wandered far." * 

Among such people there were trusty comrades and dear 
friends. The essence of comradeship is mutual confi- 
dence and common occupation; friendship adds the finer 
element of love. The two Ajaces represent comrade- 
ship. In the dark hours when, 'midst the adverse battle, 
such of the Greek leaders as remain unwounded are hold- 
ing off the Trojans from slain Patroclus, the greater Ajax 
tells Menelaus with Meriones to bear away the body, 
while we two, the Ajaces, '* in your rear will fight the 
Trojans and divine Hector, having the same mind and 
one name, as heretofore we have often withstood the 
sharp fight standing by each other." ' 

Men and women in the epics love their children. For- 
ever glowing is Hector's caress and warrior prayer that 
his son's fame surpass his own.* Achilles, at the sight 
and words of Priam, weeps for his absent father; and in 
Hades the feeble shade of him once mighty asks to learn 
of that same aged father, longs for life and strength again 
to ward off dangers from his dear head ; asks also of his 
SOD Tlepolemus, is he valiant, famous? And when told 



' Od.y XV. 390. 

' //., xvli. 718. ** Ab Id this glorioui and well-foi^ten field, we held 
together in our chivalry." — Shak., Htmry K, 
•//., Ti.476. 



I82 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



of Tlepolemus' brave deeds, off strides the shade rejoic- 
ing.' And does not Odysseus love Telemachus, and he 
love and almost worship that great father, whom at first 
he thinks some god ! The poet pictures him sitting silent 
amidst the taunts of the wooers, watching his father, 
expecting the signal.* 

Yet not for veneration for their fathers would the 
Greeks close their eyes to facts. In the ///W Agamem- 
non foolishly reproaches Diomcde with being an un- 
worthy son of a valiant father, and Diomede's follower 
answers; " We boast ourselves to be far better men than 
our fathers. We took seven-gated Thebes, though we led a 
smaller host against a stronger wall, trusting in the omens 
of the gods and the help of Zeus; but they perished in 
their impiousness. Do not, therefore, ascribe equal honor 
to our fathers." ' 

As Telemachus, respectful, modest in speech, abashed 
at the thought of addressing the venerable Nestor, 
is the youth of the epics, Nausicaa is the maiden. 
The poet has given her the sweetest modesty and 
innocence. At the river, like Artemis among her 
wood-nymphs, is she fair among her fellow-maids. Odys- 
seus, seeing her, exclaims : *' Thrice happy are her parents 
— if she be really mortal — beholding her so fair entering 
the dancc» but most blessed he who shall prevail with 
wooing gifts and lead her to his home ! " Of Odysseus, on 
whom Athene sheds grace, Nausicaa muses softly, as he 
sits on the shore. Then while her maidens give him food, 
she yokes the mules and speaks to him: *' Rouse thee 
now, stranger, to go to the city, so that I may send thee 
to my father's house, where thou wilt sec the noblest of 
the Phsacians. And do as I tell thee, for thou seemcst 
not indiscreet. While we are passing through the fields, 
do thou walk with the attendants behind the wagon. 

> Od,, «, 53S. 

■ai,x«.385, 

' //., iv, 405. Toxxt fathers bad tttacked Thebes a^aiiut the mraingi di 
thecodi. 



HOMER, 



183 



But when we come to the city I would avoid the ungra- 
cious speech of men, who might say, — who is this goodly 
^■stranger with Nausicaa ? where did she find him ? Now 
he will be her husband. Verily she regards not the noble 
youths of the Pha;acians who woo her. — And indeed I 
would blame another girl who conversed before marriage 
with men without her parents' knowledge." The poet 
gives a last glimpse of Nausicaa; she is standing by the 
door-post in the hall of the palace, and sees coming from 
the bath anointed and fairly clad the great stranger who 
has shown himself so courteous, wise, and strong of arm. 
Her eyes wonder at him as she speaks: " Hail, guest! 
and when thou art in thy fatherland sometime think of 
^me. for first unto me thou owest the ransom of thy life." ' 
^P The epics know well the tender love between a man 
and wife. Noble is Hector's love for Andromache; and 
through what terrors, and away from what sweet lures 
does Odysseus strain towards his home ! What were his 
yearnings? To see his old father and mother, should they 
still linger on earth; stronger may have been the wish to 
sec his son, and the longing which is child of manifold 
remembrance, to look once more upon the land of his 
youth; and yet above all he yearned to hold his dear wife 
in his arms. Calypso would keep him on her island, 
make him her husband, give him immortality ; she tells 
htm of the trials of his voyage, the dangers of his return, 
and adds that she boasts herself to be no less fair than 
that wife of his whom he longs all the days to sec: — what 
says the hero to her ? " Goddess, be not angry with me. 
And I know that wise Penelope is less fair than thou, for 
she is a mortal, and thou an immortal ever young. Yet 
all the days I long to journey homewards and see the day 
of my return. And if some god shall wreck me in the sea 
I will endure, possessing my soul steadfast in evil, for I 
have already suffered much from waves and war, and let 
this be added thereto."' The same hero thus tells 

> Od., viii, 457, Od,^ vi, contahu the Ule of Naasicaa. ■ Od„ t, 314. 



^ 'CW..1 



1 84 



ANCIENT WEALS, 



Nausicaa his thought of wedded life: " May the gods 
give thee thy desire, husband and home and concord 
therein; for nothing is stronger or better than a man 
and wife who dwell together in unison, — a sight to make 
their enemies grieve and their friends rejoice, but most 
of all they know their happy lot themselves," ' 

And how is it with the wife? Does not Penelope love 
and remember and hope ? With what devices does she 
put off her stormy, cruel wooers, hoping, intending 
never to marry one of them. And Odysseus twenty 
years away! Yet she remembers all, the clothes he wore 
when he set out for evil Ilium ; night and day she pines 
and weeps, and her tears pour forth at the sight of the 
bow — of anything which once was his. 

Intercourse was marked by courtesy of manner, show- 
ing high regard between men. Rarely does a Homeric 
personage address another without some title 
of respect, and courteous terms are used even 
of enemies. Ajax and Achilles speak of the 
great Trojan hero as divine Hector. Charm- 
ing is the courtesy with which a chief receives who- 
ever may come to his abode. Achilles greets the trem- 
bling heralds with, " Hail, Heralds, messengers of Zeus 
and men! Come near. I do not blame you, but Aga- 
memnon, who has sent you for the girl Briscis."' And 
still nobler is the courtesy with which the bereaved hero 
treats the suppliant Priam.' This formal epic courtesy of 
intercourse not only marks the high consciousness of the 
personal worth of heroes, but is a phase of that which is 
with Homer the broadest thought and loveliest desire, 
the thought of beauty, of beauty intellectual and physi- 
cal, gratifying the mind or the eye or ear. Conceptions 
of intelicctual and moral beauty were the reflex of Ho- 
meric far-sighted views of life as to what was fitting, right, 
or proper, as to what was broadly well for man; the 
reflex, too, of Homcr*s mind and love of knowledge. 

>cy:.vl,xSa *Ii,, 1.934. ■Sec>0««. 



The 

Tboaght 
of Beautj. 



BOhfER. 



I8S 



Tomer's mental power, performing Us perfect function, 
and so conforming itself to the mould of intellectual 

Ibeauty, manifests itself in the structure of the epics, in 
their plan and arrangement, their artistic form and splen- 
did movement, and in the fitness of their episodes. 

k The use of the word xaAoff, whose primary meaning is 
" beautiful," shows the wide associations and extensions 
of the thought of beauty, even in these earliest times. 
KctXoY in the epics is used in the sense of fittingly, prop- 
erly, becomingly; says Odysseus to the Phaeacian who 
would taunt him into taking part in the sports, " thou 
dost not speak xaXov? Again it is said it is not becom- 
ing {koKov) to boast loudly ; ' and Penelope declares that 
it is not fitting {xaXov) nor just {Sixaiov) for the wooers 
to ill-treat a guest of Tclemachus.' Poseidon challenges 
Apollo to combat, but says, " Begin thou ; it is not fitting 
{naXov) for me to begin : I am older and know more than 
thou,"* Again Poseidon telts certain of the Achxan 
chiefs that it is not proper {xaXov) for them longer to 
shun the battle.' Priam, meeting Hermes in the night 
and hearing from him about Hector's body, asks, " Who 
art thou that tcllcst me so fairly about my son? " ' And in 
other places the word means "well." ^ Naturally it often 
means charming or delightful: " Nor [at the banquet of 
the gods] was there lacking the lovely {jrepiHoKkioi) lyre 
which Apollo had, nor the Muses, who sang in turn with 
a beautiful voice." ' And Odysseus says that it is most 
delightful {rcaXXzffTov) to hear songs, feasting at a ban- 
quet' 



' OJ., TiU, i66 : f/. OJ., rvii, 381. 

• Orf., xtU, 19 ; </. Od., xriii, 287. 
' Otf.^ xxi, 313 ; see Od. xx, 994. 
•//., xil. 440. 

•//., xiii. 166 ; c/./l., vi, 326; viU, 400 ; U, 615. 

V/..]«iv, 38B. 

^SccOd.. XV, 10; xvit. 397, 460, 483 ; c/. O/., xi*, 853, 999. 

• //„ i, 604 ; </. //., xriii, 570; O/., r, i»7, 

• <W., ix. II ; see Od., i. 370 ; ix, 3. 



X86 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



The primary meaning of the word is " fair to see." 
Transition to it is made by a passage wherein the poet 
shows the intimate connection between the idea of what 
is hideous to behold and what is shocking mentally and 
morally. From the walls of Troy, Priam is entreating 
Hector not to await Achilles ; he speaks of his many good 
sons already slain, and how much more will be the grief 
of all if Hector falls. Then he implores Hector to pity 
him entering on the path of old age. whose life Zeus is 
making so hard, with the slaughter of sons and the drag- 
ging away captive of daughters and the casting down on 
the earth of little children : "And perhaps I shall last 
of all be torn by dogs before my doors, when the spear 
has taken my life. It befits a young man killed in battle 
to be gashed with the spear, and all is seemly {xaXa) for 
him when dead, whatever may come to him. But when 
dogs deBle the gray head and beard of an old man slain, 
that b indeed the thing most pitiable that comes to 
wretched mortals." ' What could be uglier than the 
naked body of an old man, gashed and torn? What 
could be more shocking, too, to every moral and 
intellectual feeling? 

Everything prized by him would the Homeric Achaean 
have beautiful: his horses and chariot, his garments and 
his arms. The splendid detailed description of Achilles' 
shield shows how the poet loved a beautiful object. And 
in human beings nothing was more prized, more loved, 
than beauty. Athene pours grace {xapi?) over Odys- 
seus, makes him taller and fairer, that he may find favor 
in Ph^eacian eyes.' Beauty (xakXoi) is a gift from the 
gods;' and how they loved it in mortals Ganymede mtgfat 
tell, snatched up by Zeus for his beauty, and lovely Cli- 
tus, whom the Dawn carried away to live among the tm- 

» IL, wii. 37- 

* £U1, vi. ajs ; vlli 19 ; MC (V.. if, 19 : zvli. 63 ; zxiii. t6ft. 

* IhU. and see //., vi, 156 : Od.^ vi. iS ; Od., viU, 457 : Od.^ ziriH, 199 ; 
Cd.,xyi, 311. 



HOMER. 



iZ7 



mortals.' Other good qualities join with it, as, of course, 
" large and beautiful," " tall and fair," " tall, fair, and 
accomplished/' — thus does the poet speak of his heroes 
and his women.' Achilles was most beautiful as well as 
mightiest of the Achseans.' And nothing in Paris so 
shocks the noble Hector as that his brother should be so 
splendid of form and so unvaliant.* In the night scene 
in Achilles' tent, stricken Priam perforce marvels at the 
beauty of the slayer of his son ; stricken Achilles admires 
the noble dignity of the father of his dear one's slayer. 

But it is of chilling interest to note how the Homeric 
Greeks could sometimes sever their admiration for beauty 
of form from kind feeling towards the possessor; how 
they could admire and hate. The Achaeans throng 
around to marvel at the splendid form of dead Hector, 
" nor did any one draw near that did not wound him." * 

Only Helen is so fair that no one of the Achaeans or 
Trojans blames her, and the poet never. Fate and her 
divine beauty justify Helen. Erring perhaps, fate-driven, 
is she, rather than sinning of her own free will. Ever 
goes she clothed in beauty, ever arc her thoughts most 
beautiful; she is divine of women, whether we see her on 
the wall of Troy when the cnicked voices of old men 
declare it no wonder Greeks and Trojans fight for such a 
woman, whether we see her at her loom weaving in a 
mighty web the deeds of heroes, or verily even when she 
ascends the couch of him with whom she had fled home, 
husband, child. Could Helen resist fate? Ah, no! 
Wottid shcf The poet does not say; only we know her 
beauty and her grace, her words and movements. Who 

' //., XX, 835 ; Od., XT, 851. Od. , •<n, 43, descnbesOlymptw, the abode of 
Ike gods, in a vmy showing how much lovely localities vrere prized by the 
old Greelts, although they had no sentimentality as to nature. 

* Od., liii, 367 ; XV, 4i9 : «. 396. 

' See//., 673. So in //., Jtiii, 432. is xaAAo? namrmlly joined with eftya. 
Compare the phrase i^t/S re /xiyai re, Od. , ix, 50S. 

* //., iii, 3<j. 
' //., rxii, 369. 




x8S 



ANUENT IDEALS. 



moves us more than Helen, the unhappy cause of all the 
woe? Whose lament for Hector is so touching? Not 
wifely Andromache's. And lovely are her seU-reproaches. 
in which mingles a pity for herself and Paris, " on whom 
Zeus has placed such an evil fate that wc shall be a theme 
of song to men in times to come." ' Yet she feels her 
shame quite as much as the hard will of the gods that 
put it on her; and the shame which she has brought on 
her brothers. Looking from the wall, she does not see 
them. ' ' Either they did not foUow from loved Laccda:- 
mon, or they did follow in their sea-sailing ships, but now 
will not mingle in the battle of men, dreading the shame 
and the many reproaches which are mine." So she 
spoke; but them the life-giving earth had, even in Lace- 
daemon, their dear fatherland.' 

Another final Hellenic thought presents itself through 
the range of epic stor)', — that of the greatness of the 

heroic man despite his mortality. The epics 
ncMof M*n ^^''^E^'*^" every human quality, by no means 

the moral qualities alone or even pre-eminently. 
They greatcn manhood altogether. Humanity is beheld 
glorified, not by circumstances or capacities unhuman, 
but in the greatness of human trait. No hero is ever 
lifted out of his essential humanity. Of this essential 
humanity the gods are but the reflex ; and consequently* 
not the gods, but Achilles and Odysseus, are the crown* 
ing glories of epic creation. In them, heroic ideals arc 
incarnate. Yet the two heroes arc very real. Nowhere 
exist characters defined in stronger line. Achilles is swift 
and radiant human force ; in his glowing heart molten 
passions surge and swell, burst forth in fiery words, trans- 
form the hero to a raging bane; and when the rage is 
past, Achilles is again a gracious demi-god. Odysseus 
is courageous intelligence and enduring strength, which 
win success and fame, gain their end as does the force of 
Achilles, and without giving up life therefor. The Greek 

'//..Ti.357. '/J^. m.»36. 



HOMER, 



I&9 



Achilles. 



race loved Achilles as a son of promise who was too 
young to die; not less did they regard Odysseus, whom 
they more in^inctivcly imitated. For Achilles was what 
the Greeks jffondered at; Odysseus was what they ad- 
mired and were. 

As one reads and feels the Greek epic, a unique impres- 
sion is produced by Achilles, this marvellous being, so 
vehement, passionate, wrathful, tender in love 
of friend, convulsive in grief, cruel in revenge, 
then graciously pitying. In every bodily quality he sur- 
passes the other heroes; no one else can wield the Pelean 
spear; no other man alone can lift the bar of Achilles' 
door. But for his swiftness and grace, he might be 
colossal; but colossal he is not, only tall and goodly, 
fairest of men. Likewise in every passion, spiritual qual- 
ity, and mental trait that is his, Achilles is great. Patro- 
clus is the dear friend of the hero, that is his role, that is 
his character; he is an accessory and a foil to Achilles, 
waits expectant on his moods, does his behests, acts only 
for his glory, except when carried along by his own impet- 
uous valor. And yet, notwithstanding that Patroclus' 
penionality has its centre and its bounds in this devotion, 
Achilles' love for Patroclus was greater, was an affection 
reaching beyond anything the lesser man Patroclus was 
capable of. This is but a single illustration in the topic 
of Achilles' grandeur; for he is fierce in his wrath, strong 
also in self-restraint, lofty in his indignation, in sorrow 
exceeding the comprehensions of other men, a very tor- 
rent of avenging hate, and sublime in his gracious moods. 
In nothing is he small; his greatness is beautiful in its 
completeness. 

Glory is a continuing, mighty motive with Achilles. 
It was born with him and made his boyhood swift and 
eager, led him to choose warfare around mighty Troy 
rather than a dullard's lengthened years. Easily was 
he first in deeds among the Achaans until the outrage 
put upon him by Agamemnon ; then anger thrusts glory 



190 



ANCIENT WEALS. 



J 



from hi? mind. For a time this anger is dominant, hold- 
ing him in inactivity which he whiles away singing the 
famous deeds of men ; and under the dulling influence 
of anger he thinks of loathsome Hades, and questions 
whether it were not better to salt home to Phthia^ com- 
fort himself with a wife, and live those long years once 
promised him. The imminent destruction of the fleet 
moves him to send Patroclus to his death. Then grief 
and avenging hate bury anger out of sight, overwhelm 
the horror of an early death; and Achilles chooses re-j 
venge and death, as before glory and death had been 
his choice. Again the glory motive comes. \X he 
breathes revenge, mightily is his heart set on fame ; 
and with him glory and the love of fame forbade his 
being infamous in any way. Greek is he to the core, 
Greek in his calm fearlessness which rational confi- 
dence inspires. Greek in his self-restraint and his obedi- 
ence to the gods. Greek in his love and hate, and 
Greek in his mercy at the end, sprung from an under- 
standing of the pitiableness of men. As from the height 
of larger personality the heart-stricken hero comforts^ 
Priam. It is night ; Achilles sits in his tent ; two com- 
rades arc removing the remains of the evening meal. 
Suddenly Priam enters, passes by the two, clasps Achilles' 
knees, and kisses the hands which have slain so many of 
his sons. Wonder seizes them while the old man spcalcs: 
" Think of thy father, godlike Achilles, who with me is 
entering on the dreary path of old age. Perhaps neigh- 
boring chiefs are pressing hard upon him, and there ts 
none to ward off the war. Yet he, hearing of thee as yet 
alive, rejoices in the hope of seeing his loved son some 
day return from Troy. But I am all bereft, for of my 
bravest sons, not one is left. Fifty had I when came the 
sons of the Achxans. Most of thcra fierce conflict has 
laid low ; there was one who protected the city, and now 
thou hast slain him as he fought for his country, e\'cn 
Hector. For him am I come to the ships of the Adueans, 



HOMER, 



191 



bringing thee a ransom. Reverence the gods, Achilles, 
and pity me, as thou rememberest thy father. I am 
more pitiable. I have endured as no other earthly mor> 
tal has, to lift up my hands to the slayer of my son." ' 

Achilles gently pushed him back, and both wept aloud, 
— Achilles for his father and Patroclus, Priam for his son. 
Then he sprang forward and raised the old man in pity 
of his gray hair: " Ah, hapless! Many ills hast thou 
endured. How didst thou dare to come to the ships of 
the Achaeans alone, and meet the eyes of him who has 
slain many and the brave ones among thy sons? Iron 

! is thy heart ! But sit, and our sorrows will we let rest in 
our breasts, grieved as we are. 1 No help will come from 
chill lament ; for the gods have made it the lot of wretched 
mortals to Hvc in affliction while they are without sorrow. 
Two jars stand on the floor of Zeus EUed with evil gifts, 
and another with blessings. He to whom Zeus gives a 
mingled lot, at one time encounters evil, at another, good. 
But him to whom Zeus gives of the evil kind, ho makes a 
wretch of; hunger drives him over the broad earth, and 
he wanders honored neither by gods nor mortals, Thus 

! the gods gave splendid gifts to Peleus from his birth ; for 
he excelled all in fortune, and was king of the Myrmi- 
dons, and though mortal, had a goddess for a wife. But 
even to him did god allot evil, for no race of mighty sons 
was born in his palace, only one son, who was to bring no 
joy. For I do not tend him now as he grows old, but am 
here at Troy, bringing sorrow to thee and thy children. 
And thou, old man, heretofore have we heard thou wert 
fortunate, that thou didst surpass in wealth and sons all 
throughout Lesbos, Phrygia, and by the boundless Hel- 
lespont. But then the heavenly ones brought bane to 
thee, that always is there battle and the slaughter of men 
about thy city. Endure, nor make such unappeasable 

•lament. Grief for thy brave son is unavailing. Thou 

^canst not raise him up. ' ' * 

' //., XXiv, 485. ' /t, IXIT, S18. 



192 



AXC/E*Wr IDEALS, 



Priam's thoughts are with his son : "Bid me not to sit, 
O Zeus-born, while Hector lies uncared for by the tents, 
but release him now, that I may see him with my eyes, 
and do thou receive the ransom." 

Whereat Achilles, moved, replied: "Trouble me no 
more, old man. I mean to release Hector; for there 
came a messenger from Zeus, even the mother who bore 
me. And I know, O I'riam, that one of the gods has 
brought thee to the ships of the Achaeans. So vex not 
my soul in its grief, lest I respect thee not though a sup- 
pliant, and transgress the commands of Zeus." ' 

So he spoke, and the old man feared; and AchtUes 
sprang forth through the door, and took the precious 
ransom from the wagon, except two robes which he left 
to cover the body. Then he bade the maid-servants 
wash the body away from Priam's sight, lest seeing his 
son the old man should not restrain his wrath, and anger 
Achilles to kill him. When the body was washed and 
anointed, Achilles lifted it upon the wagon, calling 
with a moan on his dear comrade: " Be not angered at 
me, Patroclus, if thou dost hear in Hades that I have 
given up noble Hector to his father; for not unworthy is 
the ransom, which I will duly share with thee."' And 
he went back into the tent, sat down, and spoke to Priam : 
" Thy son is released, old man, as thou hast wished, and 
lies on a bier. Thou shalt see him in the morning when 
carrying him away. Now let us have a thought of food. 
For even fair-haired Niobe bethought her of food, 
although her twelve children had perished in her halls» 
six daughters and six sons in their prime. Apollo 
angered with Niobe slew the sons, and archeress Arte- 
mis the daughters, because Niobe compared herself with 
Lcto, saying she had borne only two children and herself 
many. And the two destroyed the many. Nine days 
they lay in their gore, for there was none to bury them^ 
as Zeus turned the folk to stone; on the tenth the heav- 



■ /t, xxiv, sto. 



' JL, xxiT, 591. 



NOMER, 



193 



enly gods buried ihem, and Niobe bethought her of food 
when she was weary with weeping. So let us also think 
eating* noble old man. Hereafter shalt thou mourn 
thy son carrying htm to llion." ' 

Achilles and his comrades prepared the meal, and when 
desire for meat and drink was satisfied, then Priam mar- 
velled at Achilles, to see how great and fair he was, for 
his face was like the gods, and Achilles marvelled at 
Priam, beholding his noble aspect and hearing his voice. 
When they had gazed for a while on one another, Priam 
asked for a couch, for he had neither slept nor tasted food 
since Hector's death. Achilles had a fair bed spread for 
him beyond the inner room; then said; " Lie thou there 
jwithout, dear old man, lest some of the Ach.-ean chiefs, 
irho are always coming to consult, find thee here and tell 
Agamemnon, and there be delay in giving up the dead. 
But tell me how many days wouldst thou have for Hec- 
tor's burial, so that I may keep back the host." ' Priam 
answered: " If indeed thou art willing that I should per- 
form the rites for Hector, thou dost a welcome deed for 
me, Achilles. For as thou knowest we arc pent within 
the city, and the wood is far on the mountain. Nine 
days would we mourn, and bury him on the tenth, on the 
eleventh raise his mound. On the twelfth we will fight 
again, if needs be." 

" These things shall be as thou biddest, aged Priam; 
and for the time thou sayest I will hold back the battle." ' 
So he spoke and clasped the old man's hand that he 
might have no fear. And Priam and his herald slept by 
the entrance, but Achilles in the inner room, and by his 
side lay fair-haired Briseis. 

So by mercy, culminating in an act of kindness unbe- 

sought, the wild heart of Achilles finds a catm, — an act of 

kindness done by a hero looking in the face of his own 

death. Many tears have fallen at the story of the woes 

rpf Priam, and the hard death of Hector, the hero who 



* 2l.t jotiv, 509. 

VOL. 1,-13 



' //., xxiv, 651. 



* //., xsiv, 6&9. 



194 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



loved his wife and country and (ell for them. There is 
subtler pathos in the fate of Achilles, which the poet does 
not bring to pass, though holding it ever in view. The 
life of the hero, to his knowledge fated to be short, is all 
unhappy, despite the glory of it. Toils are tliere in it, 
and enough; his reward is outrage; and his indignation 
brings on him the sorrow for which he is to find no 
solace. Far from home is he, and soon to die; bereaved 
will be aged Peleus, bereaved in the thought is Achilles; 
dead is the friend he cherished. Who can comfort him ? 
Who can fitly sympathize ? None of his good friends in 
the Achaean host comprehends him and his great grief, 
yet withal, in his loftiness he comforts Priam, as he can; 
for his nature is greater than Priam's. Priam understands 
it not, else would he not have pressed again for Hector's 
body. Achilles comforts Priam ; but who is to comfort 
Achilles ? ' 

The Odyssey is the glorification of a man representing 
heroic intelligence ; it celebrates mind and wiles and stead- 
fastness. Yet the hero has a heroic body, 
wherewith he may excel others in valor and 
strength. Odysseus represents every virtue which lo 
Homer's mind intelligence implies — piety towards the 
gods, proper and just dealing towards men, and strong 
affection for such objects — ^wife and child and parents — 

' The O^yssfy eives a glimpse of the hero's ^faiide in Hades, coming* up 
through the murkincu accompanied by the shade of Palrocltu and other 
heroes. Orlj^scus, tq vi-hom the shades appcrar. cries Achilles hail, tn thu 
the Arrives honored him while living as a god, and that he now nilcs the 
dead. Achillea answers, speaking hugely as in life, that he would nther be 
(h« thrall of a poor fanner upon earth than king of all the dead. Then be 
asks whether his son has distincnished himself, and tA hii father, and thinks 
how. were he but alive, he wooM defend him. shoald need be. Od jmiu 
can lell him nothing of Telena. but praises the ralor of Achillea' boo at Tnjr, 
and telb his deeds. Hearing this, the shade moves away with great strides. 
rejoiced that hik son ts illustrious. OJ., x). 467-540. Other shades OMaa 
in Hades, .\cfaille3 makes no lament ; he b still the mighty semblance of a 
mighty self, and the only shade that is glad at anything in Hades. In Otf., 
xxiv, 93, the shade of Agamemnon congratulates the shade of AcfaiQei oa 
hia enduring fame. 



Odysseus. 



BOMBR. 



195 



as a right-minded man cherishes. His intelligence con- 
sists of knowiedge of what is wise and right to do, readi- 
ness of mind, fertility of device- He is ever the ready 
man, good at word and deed ; ' he is ever the perfectly 
courageous man who keeps his presence of mind. And 
he is steadfast, wilt neither be turned aside nor dis- 
couraged. 

A man of large experience, versed in all the knowledge 
of the world was he, — " Tell me. Muse, of the man, the 
ready one, who wandered afar after he had destroyed the 
mighty citadel of Troy, and saw the habitations of diverse 
men and learned to know their minds; much did he suffer 
on the deep, striving to win his life and the return of his 
comrades." * This man had known the perils of war, the 
perils of the deep, perils among savage men, more than 
other men had he suffered: " Alkinous," says he, " have 
no such thought; for neither in form nor feature am I 
like the immortals who possess the wide heaven, but to 
mortal men who die. Whomsoever ye know who has 
suffered most grievously, to him do I liken myself in sor- 
rows."' He had experienced what of good or ill the 
world had to offer; he had learned what it had to teach; 
would tell it all too, this most companionable hero.* 

Odysseus' character is complex, but consistent through- 
out, and the Odysseus of the Iliad is the Odysseus of the 
Odyssey. In the Iliad it is to the ready man that Athene 
comes seeking some one to check the rush of the Achae- 
ans to their ships ; ' it is he who chastises Thersites and 
with apt words turns the people's minds to the war.* 
His speeches arc the most skilful and persuasive in the 
Iliad,^ though in fiery directness below those of Achilles 
or Diomedc. He is also a man of wiles.* Diomede selects 
him for a companion on the perilous night espial, and 
cunning is his conduct to the Trojan spy.' He is also a 

1 Ok/., U, flja. *So MenelAUS Mjra. £>y,, it, 104. ^ Sec //.. Hi, ai6, 

' £W., i, I. '//., ii, 165. •//..«!. aoo. 

» Od., vii. ao8. ' /?., U, «4t>-33o. • //., x, 240, cic. 



196 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



bus>' man, careful, always attending to some matter* 
Priam in the truce, watching the Achaeans from the wall 
of Troy, sees Odysseus not at rest, but moving about 
inspecting the ranks,' He is always valiant in battle, not 
a humble or submissive man; quickly he resents Aga- 
memnon's unjust reproach;' and ready enough is he to 
oppose and chide the monarch proposing to abandon the 
war.' In the games, by skill and cunning he foils the 
greater strength of Ajax wrestling/ and ever mindful of 
his friend Athene wins the foot-race through her aid.' 

The Odyssey gives the fuller picture of the man; there- 
in is he seen tried in every emergency, and the iron 
strength of his character appears, and its height and 
goodness. As he is strong, steadfast for his own pur- 
pose, so is he faithful and valorous for his comrades, 
until they perish by their impious folly.* Through the 
perils of the Return was Odysseus just to them, no one 
lacked his share of food and booty.' even as he had been 
a just king in Ithaca, kind as a father, before they all set 
out for Troy.* Trusty swine-herd £uma:us loves and 
reveres him so that he shuns to call his name in hi$_ 
absence, but speaks of him as the " loved one." " 

Odysseus' large experience has taught him caution; h* 
distrusts others frankly, without bitterness. Calypso 
comes to him as he sits on the shore, bids him not to 
grieve, and says that she will do the wish of his heart, 
and send him away to his fatherland on a raft. He an- 
swers quickly : "Another thought is in thy mind, goddess, 
when thou dost bid me on a raft attempt the great gulf 
of the sea, which not even ships pass over. Nor would 1 
embark — thou misi iking it — without thy oath not to plan 
evil against me."'* Neither arc his eyes to be blinded by 
the flash of heavenly divinity. Athene comes to him in 

* //,, iil, 196. * /?., xxiii. 735. ' Od., ix, 41, 549. 

' //.. i». J49- ' ^^■. «i". 755. • O^'* «. »J4 ; it, 690^ 

•/H, Jdr, Bs. •See Od., e. 13$ ; xii. 113. 935. • Od., ot, 147. 
'• Od., T. 171 ; <f, 1*., 355. 



HOMER, 



igr 



Ithaca when he first awakens on his native shore ; after a 
little she takes her true form, and smiling, with compli- 
ments for his shrewd fabricated tales, she adds in gentle 
reproach, " Yet thou knewest not mc, Pallas Athene, 
who am always at thy side in perils and made thee dear 
to all the Ph;eacians.*' Odysseus answers: " Hard is it 
for a mortal, though a wise one, to know thee, goddess, 
in thy many shapes. This I know, that thou wast good 
to me of old, so long as we sons of Achsans warred 
about Troy. But after we had sacked the city and set 
sail, and some god had scattered the Acharans, then I 
never saw thee, child of Zeus, nor did I perceive thee com- 
ing aboard my ship to ward off trouble from me." ' But 
when Athene tells him she will now be his helper, he 
trusts her gratefully, and is ready to fight hundreds, alone 
with her aid. And yet the only bitter words that pass 
his lips are those in which he answers when she has said 
now she will go to Lacedaemon to fetch Telemachus, 
whom she sent thither for tidings of his father: " Why 
then, didst thou not tell him, thou who knowest all 
things? was it that he too might suffer sorrows wandering 
on the barren sea, and eat the bread of strangers ? " ' 

Odysseus' nerve is iron. In the hollow horse he 
restrains the chiefs from making outcry when they hear 
the voice of Helen.* Reaching Ithaca, he keeps his own 
counsel, finds out who are faithful to him — whether his 
own wife is still faithful — and, except to Telemachus, dis- 
closes nothing till the event is ripe. The trusty Eumxus 
in his swine-herd hut tells the beggar monarch of all his 
loving respect for his long-absent king, and the waning 
hope of his return. Not even to him does Odysseus open 
his heart. Yet the hero-spirit flashes from the rags. When 
Telemachus has told of shameful wooers' doings, out 
speaks Odysseus: " How is it thou dost stand these 
shames, being such as thou art ? do the people hate thee ? 
do thy kin hold off ? Were I the son of Odysseus, might 



* Od,, xiit, 31a. 



• Od., xiii, 416. 



» Od., iv. 390. 



198 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



my head be cut off if I made not myself a bane to theoi 
all; and if by numbers they overcame me single-handed, 
then would I die, slain in my palace, rather than behold 
strangers insulted, maid-acr\'ants vilely treated, wine 
spiUed,vand food devoured — all vainly." ' Ragged in his 
palace, he can bear the insults of the wooers; one of them 
strikes him with a stool ; Odysseus stands unmoved, shak- 
ing his head, musing evil." That night, lying by his pal- 
ace door, he sees the shameless maid-servants going to 
the insolent wooers with sly laughter — shall he slay them? 
and his heart growls within him. Yet he smites his 
breast: " Endure, heart! A shamcfuller thing hast thou 
borne, on that day when Cyclops was devouring thy brave 
comrades. Then didst thou endure till thy cunning 
brought thee from the cave where thou thoughtest to 
die." ' Day comes, and the infatuate revelling goes on. 
A wooer throws an ox's hoof at the beggar; the beggaf 
moves his head to avoid it, and smiles.* At last the hour 
is at hand, the bow is brought, Odysseus discovers himself 
to the two faithful herdsmen, and he tells them bid the 
women make fast the doors, and not look in if they hear 
a din and groaning in the hall.' 

Odysseus is also a shrewd and thrifty Greek, he awaits 
Cyclops in his cave to behold the giant and see whether 
he will give him gifts of hospitality.' He tells Alkinous 
that, longing as he is for home, he would wait a year for 
splendid gifts such as the king and his nobles might give 
him;* awakening in Ithaca, ignorant where he is, first of 
all he counts these gifts and bestows them safely;' and 
even with the still white heat of vengeance in his breast, 
in rags in his palace, he is pleased when the wooers give 
his wife gifts of the wooing which was not to be accom- 
plished.' 

Zeus says Odysseus excels all others in wisdom {vooi^ 



< O/., xvi. 91. 

* Od., »vii, 462, 

• Orf., «, x8. 



* Od„ XX, 300. 

• Od., xxi, 335. 

* a/., is. 399. 



' Od„ n, 356. 
" Od., xiii. joa 
* Od,^ sviii, aSi. 



HOMER, 



199 



and in sacrificing to the gods.* That is to say, he was a 
pious, god-fearing man. There is no higher word in the 
epics than that with which he checks the old nurse's shrill 
rejoicing at the death of the wooers: " In thy soul, old 
woman, be glad, and restrain thyself, nor cry aloud. It 
is not right to exult over slain men. These the fate of 
the gods overcame and their deeds. For they honored 
no one of mortal men, neither high nor low, who came to 
them. Wherefore through their wicked folly have they 
met a shameful death." ' 

Throughout the tale one marks Odysseus* love of ad- 
venture, and his eagerness to see and learn. To see and 
learn was one motive leading htm to the Cyclops' cave, 
where, indeed, he learned bitter things; and wherever he 
comes he will learn what manner of men may be there.' 
So will he, bound to the mast, hear the deadly Siren 
peril. Borne from where they sit 'midst whitening 
bones, over the hushed sea, the clear song rises: "Oh! 
come hither, far-famed Odysseus, great glory of the 
Acha^ans; stay thy ship and hear our voices. For none 
has ever driven past in his black ship till he has heard 
from our lips the sweet lay; but having had the joy of it, 
he sails on, and knowing more. For wc know all that in 
the wide Troy-land Argives and Trojans underwent at the 
will of the gods; and we know whatever happens on the 
teeming earth,"* So the straining hero tugs at his 
tonds, that he may hear this lay and know more. 

And, after all, when this mighty knowlcdgc-and adven- 
ture-loving wanderer has reached his home, when he has 
sprung upon his threshold bow in hand, intent to slay and 
slay in fierce revenge, when he has slain, and has stridden 
like a lion over the corpses, seeking if perchance one 
might still breathe, and when lie has once more felt 
around him the arms of his wife, has seen his father, and 
at last has become 6xed on the throne of sea-girt Ithaca. 



' (W., i. 66; cf. Od., lUi, 297. 
* CUl, nil, 411. 



•Seer. ^. Od., ix, 172. 
< Od„ xii, 184. 



ano 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



is he then for all his tatter days quietly to sit and eat and 
sleep? Such were an inconsequent fate. After all these 
struggles and accomplishments, he is again to set forth 
bearing on his shoulder an oar, and with it wander on till 
he come to a people ignorant of the sea and its ships, who 
shall take the oar on his strong shoulder for a winnowing- 
fan; there shall he fix it in the earth and sacrifice to Po- 
seidon. Then he shall return to his home and offer a 
hecatomb to the immortal gods. When this pious adven- 
ture is all accomplished he may rest. And a gentle 
death shall come to him from the sea and slay him when 
overburdened with a smooth old age. and all the people 
shall be blest about him.' 

' 0(/., xi, lat. This sacrifice to Poseidon and extension of hu cult WM 
to rcooodlc him to Odyascos for the blinding of Foljrphemns. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



GREEK PRINCIPLES OF LIFE. 



EAGERLY the Achaeans desired the full contents of 
life ; they would excel in valor, overcome their foes, 
get the fame thereof, and therewithal goodly pos- 
sessions and fair women. He was the hero who attained 
success, only far-sightedly, not with the insolence of dis- 
regard which reaped return of evil in the end. 
The longing for it all, and the full fame thereof, ,,^"1,° Greek 
the lasting praise of fcUow-men, roused in the Spirit- 

hero-heart a sense of shame of each untoward 
act. So would he respect such rights of others as he 
recognized, be courteous, cognizant of others' merit, 
guest- reverencing, jealous of the favor of the gods, in 
comradeship good at need, in friendship devoted unto 
death, in enmity a bane to hateful men. Helpful to all 
these ends were valor, iron endurance, cunning, sagacity, 
and all such knowledge as brought wisdom and preserved 
from folly. And the heroes burned to hear song of 
famous deeds, those the memory of which still throbbed. 
Beyond this, Greek nature was already instinct with wish 
to find out and to learn. Knowledge is becoming an ele- 
ment of life; and already throbs tliat artist soul creative 
which cannot but love loveliness, figure what it loves, and 
hold it to be true for reason of its beauty. 

Hellenic qualities, ardent in the epics, become clearer, 
more spiritual, and are builded to a perfectncss mature 
and all-proportioned in the life, the literature and art, 
and the philosophy of classic Greece. Throughout 



202 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



appears the all-compassing vision, the a<;quisitive and pro- 
portioning mind, and that imagination, creative, plastic, 
ethicali which in the drama enacts furthest mortal truth, 
and in sculpture makes visible the perfect human form, 
holding soul as the flower holds life, and in philosophy 
discloses intellectual conceptions visualized, and set as 
beacons on the heights of reason. 

With the Greeks, so long as lasted the great days of 
Greece, life was a whole whereof all things that might 
Mtfdir enter it were elements, indispensable to Hfe's 
ayacv. completeness, but so distinct as to admit of 

proportioning in relationship. This relationship of pro- 
portion carries as a consequence a universal principle of 
Greek life and thought, one stated in many forms. It lies 
in the avoidance of the extreme, self-control so guided by 
reason as to avoid excess — temperance, measure, propor- 
tion, fitness. This principle inhered in the Greek concep- 
tion of beauty, and moulded Greek ideals of conduct. It 
was the outcome of the many-sided Greek nature com- 
bined with Greek insight into the proportionate worth of 
things. Homer does not state it broadly, for the liiad 
and Odyssey are from a lime not given to generalixing. 
But the course of the epics points to it, and it appears in 
Homer's horror of arrf and v^pa, folly brought by the 
insolence of pride, sure to meet overthrow. The wicked, 
ill-starred wooers of Penelope are always insolent, C/Jptr 
f;(oyT€S. After Homer, the idea found general expression 
in the phrase firfdir ayav — nothing too much ; then in 
the word, oootppoavvr^j — wise temperance. Hcsiod bids 
men preserve moderation; the half is better than the 
whole.' Theognis applies the principle to feelings — do 
not be stirred too much by good or evil ; it is the part of 
man to bear all.' Take measure of thyself, says Pindar.' 
Pegasus threw Bellerophon seeking to soar to heaven.' 
Desire moderate things,' not such as befit only the immor- 



» Erg; 691, 7»a 
' Thtoenii, 657. 



» Pytk., ii, 34. 
• Istkm. , Ti, 44. 



*;»., T. 71- 



CREEK PRINCIPLES OF LIFE. 



ao3 



The Deed 
of Fun«. 



tals,' and set God above all.' Is not he the supreme 
ordainer, hence of gravest importance to man ? So one 
must duly weigh advantages; some gains may not be 
worth while.* There is danger in too great prosperity, 
lest it beget pride, which surely brings ruin. Upon him 
who is puffed up the gods send folly, and he perishes.* 
The moderate lot is to be preferred.* Thoughts like 
these pervaded all Greek life as principles of action which 
Greeks should follow. They showed themselves in love 
of harmony, proportion, beauty, in desires for the best 
that life ofTered; yet nothing too much, nothing too 
costly, nothing entailing too great ill ; but a weighing of 
all things. 

To all peoples come moods in which life is but a slight, 
flitting thing. Some races, like the Hindoo, arc over- 
powered by a sense of life's shortness, and 
cease to see anything in mortal life worthy of 
endeavor. Happily, the Greeks were eager, 
and in their full desire for the all -pro portioned most of 
life, they loved perfection, loved men and objects beauti- 
ful or noble in themselves. The fact that man had few 
years to live did not make against the absolute worth of 
noble achievement. Greek philosophy recognized this 
principle, while with men whose lives were eager action, 
the enduring element of their achievement, so far as con- 
cerned themselves, was the fame of it ; and that was felt 
to be enough by all Greek heroes from Achilles to Timo- 
leon.' It is evident that men feeling the transcendent 
worth of mortal achievement could not be fatalists. Yet, 
to the Greeks of classic times, fate was even more inviola- 
ble than with Homer. It continued to hold the broad- 
est Greek generalizations upon human life ; and, as with 

* Pytk , Hi, 59-62; cf. Nan.^ xi, 13, lod Euripides, Akuds, -jifq. 
' PyfA., r, aj. 

' AVm.. ri, 47, 

* See Mtch,, Persa, 804, 8x7, 
•^Esch.. Agam.^ 456. 

See Findar, passim, and Pytk., riii, 93 ; aJfO Sunonides of Keot, iv. 



S04 



ANCIENT WEALS. 



F&teuid 
Zens. 



Homer, through these more mature periods, Greek ethical 
thought remains inseverable from the rational knowledge 
on which it is based. 

Thoughts of fate pervaded all Greek literature and 
influenced Greek life. The literature contains no single 
expression conveying an adequate notion of 
the conception ; and often expressions of the 
same writer arc inconsistent.' Life is no simple 
matter; no human formula applies to all its phases. 
Fate, the motive power of events, or the movement 
itself, evades formulation. There are also, of course, 
through Greek literature such general exclamations as are 
common with all peoples, — expressions of unhappiness or 
despair, — Me miserum ! — Oh, my unhappy lot ! Alas, 
cruel fate* ira/ iq?/ /iofptr/ fioipaf* or expressions of 
the inevitablencss of what is to come, of what is fated,' 
such phrases as "Nothing is stronger than necessity." ' 

Whether fate was above the gods, or the gods — rather 
more and more Zeus — above fate, was not determined by 
the lyric and dramatic poets more definitely than by 
Homer. From many phrases fate would seem to be over 
all; from many others, Zeus would seem the supreme 
ordainer, acting through fate as an instrument. The 
general result is that Zeus and fate ordinarily move 
together, and either one or the other may be regarded as 
the ordainer of events. Pindar speaks of Zeus guiding 
the dai^ojy of those he loves,' and the phrase, tidpa 

' The Creeks had moods, like other neo. Ardnlocbiw, Frag., it. 
ipeaks nf toil and p&instaking doing alt for mortals, tnd in ibe next Fn^ 
mtnt imputes all CTentx to chance and (ate. 

' MvA\., Prem., 713. 

* E.g., rd fiiXXuv ij^et, ^sch., Agam., lail ; e/. .tsch.. Ckoifk., 
95 : Eorip., Andromactu^ 1204. 

*EQHp..yf i!ri>j/^j.g63 ; cf. drayxi^ S^ovji dv<ftiaXJfT4or, Soph.. Amtig., 
1106, which Mr. Jehb renders. We matt not vag« a vain war with destiny t 
The words t^ttilytng fate retain nearly the same meamog as in Uonuc 
Mot'fxxi in the plural are more frequently spoken of than in the epics. 
SceSoph, /fnA(f.,987; ^Adi.,Eum^.,qto; Find.. />/4., tv, 145 : KaUi- 

DOS, 9. ■ Fytk., *. UL 



GREEK PRINCIPLES OF UPS, 



205 



9e<&y or a^ffa ^los is frequent as in Homer.' Thcognis 
uses ^oXpa or Zeus or Oeoi almost cquivalently in speak- 
ing of the powers controlling men's lots.' And the com- 
plete accord, for men practical identification, of fate and 
Zens appears from such a phrase as to fioptn^or AtoB^v 
ntitpoo^ivovy — destiny ordained of Zeus.' Yet many 
phrases make fate or necessity superior to the gods. 
Even God cannot escape what is fated, said the Delphic 
oracle.* 

But the question thus crudely put, whether Zeus was 
above fate or fate above him, cannot be answered from 
Greek literature; neither one nor the other was Drti-_j n . 
true simply. A solution may be had, however, relopmcDt 
by considering the ethical as well as the physi- of the 

cal side of the development of the idea of fate Thoncht 

..... of Pftte 

after Homer s time. 

Pindar, in the seventh Isthmian ode, speaks of the 
oracle told by Themis, how it was fated that Thetis 
should have a son mightier than his father; so Zeus and 
Poseidon refrained from the marriage each had desired. 
Here fate would have been stronger than Zeus, had he, 
by doing a certain act, brought himself within its opera- 
tion. By refraining from the marriage, Zeus might keep 
his throne. The whole story is not yet told, for the 

* See Solon, Prag., 4, and 13, 30; Piodar, OL, ii, 33, OL, U. 4. 5 : 
J^k., V. 5. 

* Theognis, 133, 149, 157, 171, I033 ; tf. vEsch.. Agam,, 886 ; MttAi., 
J*ert^, 102, B93 ; ^sch., S«^., 657 ; Soph., CEd. Cel.,^%\. Soph., Prag., 
786; Eorip., Amirom., ia68 ; Eurip., Elik., 1348; Eurip., Oreitet, Tq; 
jEcch.. Choffh., ag8. 

' rind., Nem.. it, 61 ; cf. JV^,, vl, 16, aad references io tbe last note. 
Plato Iws the phnse OfTa ^oTftaf Apol.. xxii, or heov fir^pOt Pef., 49a r. 
Tbese phrases with Plalo refer to proWdential ngcncy and facts whick 
occur throngh divine action. See note 20 to page 1 76 of Zeller's Piato. 

* Herod., i, 91. " Art is weaker than necessity. Who stecra necessity ? 
Tbe Fates and miDdfal Erinjrea. Is Zeos weaker than these? He cannot 
oMpewhot is fated." — /Esch.. Prom.. 519. Cf. Stmonidcs, 5, Jt ; Soph.. 
F*tig., S36, Parnienide« ases dvayMrj in the sense of fi<^P^t Unes 91 and 
<^. See Kilter and Prellcr. Hut. Pkii, Craca, ij/b, 101 B, loi D. 141 A, 
131 b, 149 Bb. 



306 



dirOEMT WBdtS. 



ifagrivbadc ta tbe otrse of Cnrnvs oo &e soa «te 



had oveithrovii Itim.* So tliis ^ut faad its 



offigiii 



curse, and was entailed oa Zeus for i mp i ety tu w aids his 
fadicr. It was stiD conditioned on some farther act, then 
nahnown to Zevs, but lying like a swnkm rock m his padu 
LflEiewise, in regard to men, the moral nature o( tate, 

the pan identity of fate with right, with Themis, grad- 
ually becomes dearer, until fate, with Zeus, becomes the 
great awarder of punishment. The original pointing o( 
man's destiny is in his own hands; only the consequeixes 
of his act, his future acts and sufferings, are fated.' Fate 
docs not take the absolute initiative, but is alwa)-s, or 
has been once on a time, conditioned on something with- 
in the power of the man or hU ancestors. Arri brought 
by great prosperity, may lead the man to do the fatal 
act ; fate itself comes into operation afterwards. 

Tlic family being a unit in ancient times, succeeding 
generations were involved in the crimes of ancestors, so 
.pjj^ J. as to inherit and effectuate a curee,' which 
carteii Act ; h^<^ been called forth by some deed of the per- 
HooBea of son cursed, and might be conditioned on some 
further act. No curse is uttered against in- 
nocence, nor is there any suggestion that it 
would be operative. A curse may be regarded as the im- 
precation by the injured person of what might be the fit 
and fated consequences of the wrong. The effect of a 
curse may be followed in the two houses of Laius and 
Atrcus. 

The story of the house of Laius is variously given, but 
the central strain U this. Laius had been warned by the 
Delphic oracle that he should have a son who should kill 

' See jCich., Pivm., 933. 

' Thii of coone rtseroblei Brahman and Buddhist doctHnet, the power of 
the act in entailiiLg consequences. Indeed, these thoughts onlf e x pa ^w 
univerwl truth, opeo to the ob&erration of all numkind : the rnnitqoMicci 
abide for nil wnme-doert. — ^-sch., Kumenidti, $11-515. 

* See Solan, 13, 30 ; Earip.. H<r. Fur., ia6t ; e/. the BOdical '* VUtia^ 

the liiu of the fatheta," etc— Ei. xz, 5. 



Laloa and 
Atmu. 



GREEK PRINCIPLES OF LIFE. 



207 



im ; and his son CEdipus brought the oracle to pass, and, 
having slain Laius, unknowingly wedded Jocasta, his own 
mother. By her he had two sons and two daughters, and 
then the matter came to light. Jocasta hanged herself, 
and CEdipus put out his eyes. Thereafter his sons im- 
prisoned him ; and he cursed them that they might divide 
their heritage with the sword. To avoid the curse, they 
agreed to rule alternate years; but when the time came, 
at the first year's end, for Eteocles to give the rule over to 
Folyneices, he refused ; and Polyneiccs, having obtained 
aid from Argos, assaulted Thebes, but only to perish at 
his brother's hand, whom he also slew. 

This outline of crime and hate requires supplementing. 
Why should such an oracular curse have been pronounced 
over Laius, that he should have a child only to perish at 
its hands, or incur the great ill of leaving no issue? There 
•was a reason, though the reason which has come down 
may not be as old as the original myth.' Laius, the son 
of Labdicus, and great-grandson of Cecrops, carried off 
Chrysippus, the son of Pclops, and was the first among 
men to practise the custom which among gods Zeus in- 
itiated with Ganymede. For this, Pelops invoked on him 
the curse that he might never have a child, or if he should 
that the child might slay him. The Erinyes enter into the 
carrying out of the curse in its secondary stages, but not 
yet, for apparently they act only as blood avengers or at 
the call of a parent who has been dealt with impiously." 
Afterwards, Laius, being very long childless, sent to Del- 
phi, and received an oracle that he should have a son who 
should slay him. The oracle was not in the nature of a 

* For the Inddeats about to be meDtioned, see gencnUly the preface of 
Aristophanes the Grammnrian to Euripides' Pkanidans. The crime of 
L«ius is referred to by PUto, Lawt. 836 C. It is not referred to in i^schy- 
lus, Sophocles, or Coripides, bat was not pertinent to their extant dramAi. 
The e&rliest versioo of the story of CEdipus. Odyssty, zi, 371, etc., does 
not mendoo the crime of Laius. There is nothing tn the epics soggestiog 
the existence of thi^ kind of immorality. 

•Scc//.,xi.454. 



208 



ANaENT WEALS, 



warning to beget no children, but simply that he should 
be a father, and die by his son's hand.' The wrong to 
Pclops had been done, and the curse was already hanging 
over him, sure to fall, yet still conditioned on his begetting 
a child, an act which apparently he might abstain from. 
He did for a time abstain from intercourse with his wife, 
until he forgot the oracle, or drunken desire overcame 
him, and CEdipus, his fateful son,' saw the light. Still 
endeavoring to escape the oracle, he pierced the babe's 
feet with golden rings, and exposed it on Mount Cithse- 
ron. But CEdipus was preserved, and afterwards hearing 
an oracle that he should kill his father and marrj' his 
mother, he fled from Corinth, where dwelt those whom 
he thought his parents. While making his way toThebe*. 
he met and killed Laius. Then, having solved the riddlel 
of the Sphinx, he entered Thebes, where he was made 
king and given to wife his own mother Jocasta. Thus 
CEdipus is trebly polluted, born under a curse, then slay- 
ing his father, and marrying his mother. Now, according 
to the Odyssey, the Erinyes enter, for Jocasta hanged J 
herself, " bequeathing to him many ills, even as many as 
a mother's Erinyes might bring to pass. " ' Pindar has it 
otherwise. Laius meeting death at the hands of his son, 
"the swift Erinyes beheld it, and slew his (CEdipus*) sons 
each with the other's sword."' This is the vengeance 
on the patricide. 

The dramatic version is different. In that the sons do 
impious wrong to their self-blinded father, by imprison- 
ing him (^schylus) ' or (Sophocles) by driving him from 



' A»d)., Sif^m., 74), mikei thit cmde • wsmlog agmiiut 
chlldrm,— t diTcrgfince ben. — C/. Soph., (Ed, 7*., 71a. 

* MtipdMioC u/oE, E^adu, OL, u. 9$. 

• iW.. li. 719. 
' Ot.. ii. 55. 
■ ThU b whAt U ttid in Uw preface of The Setm tgtimii TUkA 

tyMaroMXtiovAr a6atf«d0 avrar. Comp&n, howcrer, Smati 



GREBX PRINCIPLES OF UFE, 



909 



the state; and for this he curses them.' Hence there are 
two curses working themselves out on the sons of CEdi- 
pu3, the original curse on the race, and the curse from 
CBdipus. Each infatuate act {oirtf) brings a new curse or 
deepens the effect of the old one, which the first infatuate 
act {rrpobrapxf^ ^^v)' occasioned. If the sons of CEdi- 
pus had not ill-used their father, perhaps they might have 
escaped ; yet they could not have escaped their racchood. 
And if Eteocles had not unjustly refused to give up the 
kingship to his brother at the end of the year, perhaps 
there might have been no strife between them; or per- 
haps he was doomed through the curse to be thus unjust. 
As it is, when Polyneices has invaded the land, Eteocles 
yields to his fate: "Since God so hurries on the business, 
let the whole race of Laius, hateful to Phcebus, drift 
with the breeze upon Cocytus* wave. . . . Aban- 
doned by the gods, why longer fawn upon the doom of 
death? " ' As he rushes forth, the chorus moralizes : " I 
fear the destroying goddess, the Erinyes, lest she accom- 
plish the wrathful curse of their father. But the bane 
urges on these things."* And they mutter over the old 
crime of Laius, when warned by Apollo that, dying child- 
less, he should save the state; nevertheless, he begot in 
CEdipus doom for himself.' The working out of the curse 
on the two sons in Sophocles' (Sdtpus Co/onois dlfiers only 
in detail from the version of the Seven against Thebes, 
CEdipus curses them for having cast him out.' Never- 



' According to the Cyclic poem of the Thehaid^ CEdipus cuTsed his sons 
for disobediently setting on his table the wine-cups of Laiu!», "and the 
Erinyes failed not to he&r." See Dr. Jebb's introduction to his (Edi^ 
Tjrrannut, p. 16, 

■ jEsch., Agam., 1163. 

» ^sch.. Sfpt.^ 686. 699. 

'/*.,7I7. 

» Ih., 739, etc. 

* But the cune is pronounced at a later period, when PolTncices comes to 

Colorms to seek his father's aid, knowing the oncle that the side favored 

by (£dipu5 would win. Sec (EJ. Col., 431. etc. ; but e/. ti., 1375. 
voui.— «< 



310 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



theless, with Sophocles, more entirely than with jCschy- 
lus, the doom of the two sons is dependent on the curse 
from their father, and less intimately connected with the 
accursedness of the race.' Still, after the sons have slain 
each other, the hard lot of the house is referred to in the 
Antigone^ how there is no help for the house of Lab- 
dicus, which some god casts down from generation to 
generation. Antigone herself had not been cursed by 
CKdipus; she had only acted with loving courage, but 
she also belonged to the curse-stricken house.' 

Likewise, with the house of Atreus, it is the curse-bom 
daifjojv which causes all the woe,* though the Saifiayy 
was but the agent of Zeus.* A curse lay on this house; 
yet it is not so prominently the working of this curse 
that causes the ruin, as the very nature of the crimes 
committed, which avenge themselves in new-begotten 
crime.* Cries Cassandra, as Agamemnon's murder is on 
the verge, "I scent the track of crimes done long ago. 
That harsh chorus never leaves this house, but bolder, 
having drunk men's blood, that revelling band abides of 
sister Erinyes, not to be cast out. One strain they sing, 
that primal Impious act, loathing that brother's couch so 
cruel found to its defiler." * A brother's bed defiled, the 
defilcr's children slain and fed to him, — should not this 
engender evil in a house forever ? Besides, there were 
murders, incests many in the race sprung from Tantalus, 
himself punished by the gods for evil deeds. So was the 
race fostered on all crimes. What escape could there be 



' A nmil mdrance to indiridua] discrimiDation in the award of pnnisli* 
neot ; f/. Jeremiah xxxi. 29, and Thcognis, 731, etc. 

* Antigtmr, 5S4, 593, 860. The Amfigtnu was written before the (EJi/mj 
Ca/tm^Mj, and in the latter plaf perhaps Sophocles wai more deeply influenced 
by the later moral doctrine of the subject'^ responsilMtity solely for hu own 
wroDg-doing, and perhaps only for crimes done knowingly. 

* Aiam., 1444, etc. 
' Agam., 1461. 

* Still Thyestci had cuned the whole race of Atreoa.— ifjOM., IS7S. 

* Agam,^ H55, etc, and fee lA, 1185, etc. 




CREEK PRINCIPLES OF LIFE, 



ail 



y scion of it ? Ancient outrage breeds other out- 
rage sporting in human ills, and so on and on.' And 
when Paris came to Mcnelaus' house, and took away 
Helen, and the two brothers assembled all Greece to re- 
cover her, and bring untold woes, — not on Ilium alone; 
and when the war had worn on, and the murmurs forGrceks 
slain at Troy because of private feud had been rising 
many years, were these not to do the work of a people's 
curse on those two headstrong kings?* And to have 
slain guiltless Iphigenia in order that guilty Helen might 

^be brought back, was not this a crime fitted to bring its 
jwn retribution, even though in foresight Agamemnon 
bound his daughter's mouth, that dying she might utter 

jjio curse against the deed-cursed race ? ' And Clytcmnes- 
with w^gisthus conspired against Agamemnon and 
slew him. The chorus of old men hardly know how to 
bewail the murdered chief, who pays the penalty of his 
own and of ancestral deeds, as is the law of Zeus.* So 

fjthe evil genius of the house causes the woe,' working out 
the old curse in new crimes, and their evil consequences 
to the doers, among whom is now Clytcmncstra, who shall 
so atone. It was from adulterous hate, as well as desire 

'of vengeance for the sacrifice of Iphigenia, that Clytem- 
nestra killed Agamemnon. But as to Orestes, the com- 
mand of Apollo laid on him the sacred duty to avenge 
his father. So the curse ends here. He is pursued by 
his mother's Erinyes, but is absolved from blame and 
freed from their pursuit in the end. 

L An effective curse must be occasioned by a wrong done, 

' Agam,^ 738. In Agom,^ II94< Cassandra spcalcs of the murder of 
Agamemnon as about to take place ia vengeance for those diildren whose 
spectral forms she Mw holding Chclr hearts and entrails, on which their 
father fed. 

* Agam.,^t. 

»'Agam., 237. 
*Again., 1530. 

* Agam,, 1444. An Idea tliat ClTtemnestra eagerly takes op as freeing 
her from guilL— /^., 1451. 



ata 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



whereupon the curse uttered * becomes as fate to the 
wrong-doer, and his family it may be, — becomes 
RetribatWe ^^^ daifjLcav, the evil spirit, or the particular 
P^j^^ doom of the house. Above all, it is retribu- 

tive. So is the fate of man generally condi- 
tional upon his nature and especially upon his deeds. All 
men are mortal, that is, fated to die — an instance of fate 
dependent on the nature of man or his inherent limita- 
tions.' There are also special individual lots or fates de- 
pendent, in the first place, on some voluntary act of the 
individual or his ancestors, as has been seen. But that 
a crime is fated does not absolve the doer. Says Cly- 
temnestra, asking Orestes for life, " Fate, my child, was 
the cause of these things." Replies Orestes, sardoni- 
cally, "And Fate prepared this doom for thee." ' Again 
he tells his mother, "My father's fate, your deed, pre- 
scribes this fate for thee." * 

The course of a man's life may be placid and fortunate, 
in which case it is likely he has led a good life and is 
loved by the gods.' A man's evil fate takes its start 
from his art) or vfipUy causing him to commit wrong or 
crime. The Greeks generally felt that too great pros- 
perity might incur the envy of the gods and bring the 



' While we comprehend the ethical notions tfUToaodiag the eonoeptiaa 
of a curse, the power of the curse itself, the deadljr spokco ward, is \-cnr tc- 
mote from us. It is related to all beliefs in sjjcUs and incantAtioas, the 
power of which coiuistcd in the words thenuelves, and was dissipated bjr 
deviation from the formula. The prayer of the wronged may be equivalent 
to a cuT^e in working destnictioa or vengeance. See ^«ch., Chelpk., 455. 
•Thus Pindar says men are an ^ivo\ raxvxoTfior, Oi., 1, 66. So h 
might be the natarc of other bemgi, — ■'./., fated for them— not to die. Sec 
^sch.. Prom., 771, 954. 

* Ckeiph., 696. 

* Cko/fh.^ 913 See also Agam,^ 1482, where the chonis admit tbaf t^ 
tiaitioay of the house ha^ been at work, yet orj one will absolve Ofteat- 
ncstra. C/. Soph., Aias, gaj ; Soph., Frag., 84a. 

■ Zeus guides the ^atuear of those he loves. Pind., ./^rt., v, 1*4 ; PSnd.^ 
OL, it. 39, ipeaks of MOlpct holding the happy niiT^ol of a rice, cod la 
^ylk., V, 17 and a6, uvXpa and at6a are both used in a good sense. 



GREEK PRINCIPLES OF UFE. 



213 



possessor ruin/ This, however, was but the belief of 
those who failed to see the intervening link: prosperity 
brings or^, and that brings overthrow. /Says iEschylus: 
"It is an old saw that great prosperity ooes not die 1 
less, but brings Insatiable woe on a race./"TTi^d differ- 
ently ; for it is the impious act that bcarsTtiore evil deeds' 
like to the parent stock. The. fate of righteous houses 
is blessed with fair children." ' Yet ^schylus knew the 
danger that prosperity would cause insolence and crime, 
and thus he elsewhere lets his chorus speak: " Be man's 
life free from misery with enough to satisfy the wise ; for 
wealth is no protection to a man when he has spumed 
the altar of right. A wretched impulse drives him on, 
the irresistible, far-scheming child of folly."* Wrong- 
doing brings ill on the doer. Solon expresses the broad 
doctrine — a man atones for evil deeds sooner or later, or 
if not, then his children atone.' These dramas of the 
houses of Laius and Atreus arc dramatic embodiments of 
the ethical truth that no man can elude the retributive 
consequences of his acts, or even the result of his nature 
and racehood. The consequence or denouement works 
itself out in the form of immediate or final calamity; or 
when the person has himself wittingly committed crime, 
it works itself out in further crimes, which at last entangle 
him in ruin. 

This conception of the retributive nature of fate con- 
nects it with the Erinyes, who are sisters of the fioipai,* 
or even identified with them ^ As far back as Hesiod, 
the fAoipai and Ktjpts pursue with vengeance the trans- 

' Hcrocl., iU, 40; id., vii, 10, 46. 

* Involantary crimes maybe a punishment for prerious crimes. Soph., 
(Ed. Cot.. 965, etc. 

* Agam., 727, etc 

* Agam., 370, etc. ; ii., 13/02. 

* Solon, 13, 30. So the Troj&ns atoce for Para's crime, which thej op- 
held, Agam., 353. etc. See Ettm., 5It-5i5. 

' Eumcnidet, 920. 

^ EuiruTiieUit 165. In Y-vai^., EUktra, I3S3, the Erinyes are called 



/^3M 



ai4 



AHaENT IDEALS. 



gre^sions of gods and men.' ^Eschylus says, the dark 
Erinyes execute sure vengeance,' and Sophocles says, 
'' the Erinyes of the gods are in wait to ensnare Creon 
in the crimes which he has committed." ' But it U not 
with justice of a retributive nature only that fate is con- 
nected. Hesiod makes the three Fates the daughters of 
Themis by Zeus, who gave them the greatest honor, 
that they distribute good and evil to mortals.' So from 
their birth are the ^otpai connected with right and 
wrong, ^schylus calls them opSovofioij ** justly award- 
ing,*'* and Pindar suggests their ethical nature, saying 
they stand apart to hide their shame at enmity among 
kin.' Conversely, there is the idea of fate in some of the 
uses of the word ^fVw. It was $if4ts that after Achilles' 
death no one should take Troy but his son." To live 
without ills is Odfiis only for the gods.' In these instances 
6iptiS could be rendered "fated," and the intimate rela- 
tion of the two ideas appears in the phrase, ^lopoifia 
ovti tpvyety de^iSf "It is not right to shun what is 
fated.'" 

The nature of the Erinyes, or Eumenides, throws light 
on the Greek idea of expiation. The chorus of Eumen- 
ides in i4ischylus' play say of themselves: 
Z-f "We are the eternal children of night, and 

Expiation, called curses under the earth." " "AJl-pervad- 
ing destiny assigned us the lot to pursue mur- 
derers of kindred till the earth covers them, and dying 
they arc not freed from us." " Towards the end of the 
same drama" Athene says, " They manage all things hu> 

> Tkeogeny, 3aa *Eumen., 931. 

*Agam..^Z. * Pytk.. IT. J45. 

'Antigtmr, 1075. ' Soph., PkHok,, 340 ; c/, Antig., 880, 

* TAt^goHy, 904. • Soph., Frag., 86r. 

* Eurip., HtratHda. 615. The rigbteDosness of fate's irtribadons it 
indicnied bjr %. phnse tike tbi&: ou4. xi' timptSia ri'diS tpitrai ^r 
HftuitdOff ro tt'ytir. (Ed. Coi., 238, which Jebb translates, " No matt 
li visited by fate if he requite deeds which were first done to fainueU." 

^ EumeH,. 394. " Eumun.^ 330. ^* Ewmtn,^ 890, 



GJiSEK PRINCIPLES OF UFE, 



215 



man, and he who has not found them hostile (has not of- 
fended them) knows not why a sudden blow strikes him; 
but it is on account of his ancestors' crimes." The 
Erinyes are avenging goddesses. Athene herself, fearing 
their bane, by wise words propitiates them towards her 
people, and wins them to dwell propitious and honored 
under Mars's Hill. They were true Greek personifications 
of the powers that punish, and were a conception which 
became spiritual with the progress of ethical thought 
gradually laying stress on the intent with which an act 
is done, making that the test of crime. Far older than 
the notion of a human conscience, they may at an early 
period have been conceived to execute punishment 
through the mental self-torturings of the criminal. In 
time, however, they were almost transformed into human 
consciences. Thus the Eumenides of ^schylus become 
the visions of a fevered imagination with Euripides. Ores- 
tes — the same Orestes, but how different! — is frenzied 
with a sense of what he has done. Menelaus asks him 
what disease is destroying him, and he answers, "Con- 
science, because I know that I have done dreadful 
deeds.'" 

A related phase of ethical development may be traced 
in the broadening of the idea of punishment. Even 
down to iCschylus' time, punishment was ven- 
geance — that is, something concerning only a 
person injured by the crime, ./Eschylus does 
not feel that some one must punish Clytemnes- 
tra and ^Egisthus; rather, Orestes must avenge the mur- 
der of his father. Otherwise, the Erinyes of a father 
unavenged will pursue him." On the other hand, if he 
slay his mother, her Erinyes will pursue him, as they do 
in the two last plays of the trilogy. In time the idea of 
punishment broadened with the spiritualizing of the 
Erinyes. They ceased to be the curses hurled by the in- 
dividual dead because he was wronged, and became the 
' Earip., Ortttu, 396. ' See Choeph., 260-397. 



Punish- 

mcDt; 

Intent. 



di6 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



conscience of the wrong-doer, stinging him because he* 
had committed a crime. Thus the idea of wrong out- 
grew mere thought of injury to the individual alone, and 
the thought came that, apart from the demand of ven- 
geance by the wronged, the wrong-doer ought to be 
punished. A person might be injured irrespective of 
the intent of the wrong-doer; and justifiable intent or 
absence of intent would be no plea to his demand for 
vengeance. Otherwise as to the general sense that a 
man who has done an injury ought to be punished, and 
here was the path by which advanced the Uiougbt that 
intent was the criterion of guilt, with which thought the 
conception of expiation came to be connected. 

In ^schylus, Clytemnestra's Erinyes pursue Orestes. 
Vengeance is sought ; in the end he is delivered from 
them and absolved from guilt because matricide in ven- 
geance for a father's death was justifiable, it being a 
greater crime to kill a husband than to kill a mother.' 
Here the old and the new are combined, the old idea of 
vengeance for wrong suffered, and the new idea of a deed 
justifiable, or the reverse, on general ethical principles, 
Sophocles shows clear ethical advance: "There is no 
guilt in involuntary wrong; " ' " for those who err unwit- 
tingly, anger is softened." ' The CEdipus Coloneus is a 
drama of expiation, and in it CEdipus exculpates himself 
on the ground that crimes unwittingly commited are not 
blameworthy. " My acts have been sufferings rather 
than deeds," * says he. "Bloodshed, incest, misery, — 
all this thy lips have launched against me, all this that I 
have borne, woe is me! by no choice of mine! For such 
was the pleasure of the gods, wroth, haply, with the race 
from of old. Take me alone, and thou couldst find no sin 
to upbraid withal, in quittance whereof I was driven to 
sin thus against myself and against my kin. Tell me 
now, if by voice of oracle some divine doom was coming 



I 



' See Eumtn, , 303. etc 
■Soph., Frag., 599. 



•Soph., Tra^k,. 7S7, 
* <Ed, Col., 366. 



CREEK PS/SCIPLES Of UFE. 



217 



on my sire, that he should die by a son's hand, how 
couldst thou justly reproach me therewith, who was 
then unborn, whom no sire had yet begotten, no mother's 
womb conceived ? And if, when born to woe, as I was 
bom, I met my sire in strife and slew him, all ignorant of 
what I was doing and to whom, how couldst thou justly 
blame the unknowing deed ? " ' 

CEdipus asserts that he had himself committed no 
former crime, as punishment for which he should have 
been driven, even unwittingly, to commit other heinous 
crimes; and he completes his defence by saying, what- 
ever he did. he did not willing it. When a man errs, 
however, life and the consequences of the wrong may not 
ask as to intent, and retribution often follows on the act 
itself, CEdipus has unwittingly done frightful deeds. 
Life will not wholly remit their penalties. His subse- 
quent life is to be one long expiation, with the result 
that he die at peace with God, yet himself unforgiving 
towards his own sons, who had wronged him knowingly. 
His curses on them still echo while the story of his *' pass- 
ing " is told. There is no forgiveness taught for inten- 
tional crime, nor any notion that enemies should be 
forgiven. Yet the Antigofu contains the idea that repent- 
ance is always well.' Teiresias tells Creon, to err is human, 
but he who turns to repentance may not be unblest. 

These, then, were phases of Greek ethical development : 
a broadening of the conception of vengeance to that of 
punishment, a growth of the idea of expiation phaaei of 
out of that of reparation to the person injured, Greek 

a recognition of the injustice of entailing aE'*'*'^**^^ 
curse on children for the crimes of parents, and " ^P™*" • 
a clearer thought that crimes unwittingly committed might 

' <EJ. Col., 965, etc., Jebt/s translation. CEdipns is on the verge of the 
problem how to reconcile God's foreknowledge wiili human freedom of will. 

•Soph., Antig., 1023. etc A further note of the growing sptritnalizAtion 
of Greek ethics is found in Sojihocles' conviction that prayer is more im- 
portant than rites, (Eii, Co/., 48^ ; and he conceives that a god may onder- 
Bland even UDUitered prayen. — EUktra, 657 ; r/. Frag.^ 854. 



9t8 



ANCIENT JDEALS. 



be expiated, finally that they were not crimes at all.' So 
blamelessness or guilt should depend on the intent of the 
doer of the deed. This principle, however, did not see 
the ethical criterion solely in the intent accompanying an 
act, but rather included the general sum of personal in- 
tentions, motives, and tendencies constituting self, fully 
recognizing the responsibility of the human being for his 
character and all acts springing from it. The Greeks as- 
serted this responsibility, not to be evaded, of the human 
individual for himself, and they recognized differences of 
character and faculty in men as facts of which reasonable 
ethics should not complain but take account. So Pindar, 
a great ethical poet, sang in many notes, how that the 
mightiest factor of a man's achievement was his inborn 
nature (^I'flt), the inborn virtue of a scion of noble stock ; • 
that is, as it were, the divine favoring fate within him.' 
Says Hcraclitus finally, rfioi avQp<on^ Sai^cav, — Char- 
acter is a man's genius. 

So, then, a man's lot is in part conditional upon his 
acts, and fate avenges, punishes. But the ethical mo- 
ment is not the sole factor in destiny. Human 
life lies not altogether within the pale of ethi- 
cal considerations. Mortality binds it with necessity — 
avayxTj, This is also fate, and never ceases to be fate. 
So fate never became entirely ethical, but always stood 
for those limitations on humanity proceeding from man's 
mortal nature and circumstances out of his control. 

From the eariy epic representations of the gods, where- 
in theogonic function had been transformed to all manner 
of human immorality, the higher modes of later 
Q^^ Greek poetry, as well as Greek philosophy, 

each in its own way, should clear itself, and 
more readily because of the plastic excellence of these 

* Sajri Dcmottheoes. £>t Ofrana, 338, ** Men bestow anger and puni^ 
ment on those who do wrong knowingly, pardoa on those who err bd- 
wittingly." 

• Sco 0/., ij. 94 ; ix, xoo ; liii, 13. 
■ See 01., ix, 38, 110. 



Aydjnof 



GJiEEX PJl/JVCIPZ£S OF UFE. 



219 



early artist creations. Nevertheless, certain fundamental 
conceptions did not cease to be a wellnigh determining 
factor in all modes of Hellenic thinking, artistic as well 
as philosophic. These appear first in the Homeric limi- 
tations of the functions and power of the gods, supple- 
mentcd by the Homeric idea of fate. Homer's gods 
did not create the universe, and in everything there was 
the brute force over which the gods had scant control. 
Here were thoughts which should maintain themselves 
as the physically necessary, unethical elements of fate, 
till, through Greek philosophy, they should be shaped to 
conceptions of natural law. To the Greeks their gods 
might never represent all the powers outside of man and 
stronger than him; events might not be brought com- 
pletely within divine governance. As thoughts of the 
gods, finally of Zeus almost single and supreme, were 
purified, they might maintain themselves in correspond- 
ence with lofty ethical ideas; the gods might become 
the upholders of all righteousness, and identify them- 
selves with the ethical side of fate. But fate's brute, 
necessary modes endured despite the gods, admitting no 
ethical solvent. They were rigid facts, data which human 
conduct, to be reasonable, fully ethical, must take ac- 
count of. 

Since the functions of Greek gods never broadened to 
control all life, Greek thought constantly varies, now 
bringing more of life, now less, and again noth- 
ing, it may be, within the scope of deity's con- 
trol. The poets hold the gods personified, and 
tend to see most of life lying in divine hands. 
The philosophers take from the gods distinct 
individuality, anon all personality, and tend to see law 
everywhere and over all. Greek ideals of life, in their 
ethical development and spiritualization, may be followed 
in the poets' thoughts of the gods and human conduct. 
It will be plainly noticeable how the Greek ideal of con- 
duct and the best good for man comes with increasing 



Thoag:ht» 

of the 

Cods and 

Thoughts 

of Life. 



320 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



clearness to inhere in the man himself, not in his circum- 
stances, — another phase, indeed, of Greek spiritualization. 

Even in the Homeric hymns, the gods have begun to 
lay aside human frailty.' The hymn to Ares shows far 
loftier thought of that god than the epics, and another 
hymn tells how Hcphaistus with Athene taught mortals 
to live like civilized beings, not in caves like beasts.' 
With Hcsiod, times are changed. No longer is sung the 
splendor of great and cruel deeds, but justice and temper- 
ance and industry. The Thcogonia, with all the horrible 
necessities of its myths of monstrous engenderings, pre- 
sents the picture of progress from chaos to divine rule. 
In the Erga there is already the idea of punishment, not 
personal vengeance, from God ; and Zeus has become a 
just awarder of rewards and punishments to men, — Zeus, 
who implanted justice in men, while he ordained that 
fishes, birds, and beasts should devour each other.* Hcsi- 
od disapproves evil strife, yet approves another kind of 
contention for mortals, — emulation, one neighbor trying 
to outdo another in wealth.* He has many maxims of 
homely prudence: Take thought for the winter. Have 
thine own wagon; when thou needest to borrow, it may 
be refused. He advises work: Hunger attends the idle; 
labor is no shame, but idleness,' and — for Zeus is just — 
wealth obtained by force and fraud prospers not,* and a 
man devising ill for another fashions it for himself,' 
Hesiod is still far from prizing toil as a discipline and 
means of improvement; better if one could live without 
It, like the blessed beings of the Golden Age, when the 
earth brought forth of her free will.' On the whole, be 
counsels moderation." 

Bravest of the Ijtic poets, Tyrtaus sings the praise of 
valor. He praises not mere size and strength, but cour- 

* tUnll^ in the fajma to Hcroa 1 'frr*. 3(tt, Jii. 

• llynas x\\\ uul xx, *£rf, 3», 35a. 

*Srt^ u. *£rg^ 109. etc 



GREEK PRINCIPLES OP UFE, 



321 



age and readiness to die for one's country.' The lyric 
poets do not sustain this strong note. Many of them 
lived in the alt too happy islands of Ionia, where the 
spirit of civic freedom might not maintain itself as in 
Hellas. Soon comes Mimnermus, bewailing the short- 
ness of life,' yet he has moral ideas, and cares for truth.' 
Sage Solon b more wholesome in his esteem of heaven- 
bestowed prosperity and good repute. He wishes to be 
dear to his friends, terrible to his enemies, and possessed 
of riches rightly acquired ; for god-given wealth abides, 
but cctt} soon mingles with what comes through evil 
deeds, and sharply the anger of Zeus descends on the 
evil-doer, or his children atone.* The abstract worth of 
justice is now coming to be appreciated.' Much attributed 
to Theognis shows a growing complexity of life.' He 
has many clear- headed worldly precepts, often is pessi- 
mistic, and finds fault with the apparent course of things: 
Who can honor the gods, seeing the evil prosper? ' And 
he shows small hope of anything after death.' Simonides 
lambograph has also dreariness enough. Life is short, 
and death ends the matter, say many of the lyric poets ; 
but Simonides of Keos presents another immortality, as 
he sings the fame and fair fortune of those who died at 
Thermopylae and Platea.* 

To conquer in the contest drives away care, says Pin- 



* TyrtJnn, ii, i ; i^., lo, i, an the well-known linet : 

Tt^vdtitvax ydf> xak6y eni xpofiaxoi^i tedorta 
tirS^ a^a66y wept ^ narpi'St M<'py<iM*i^or, 

* Mimneimus, i, lo ; s, 5 ; 5. 

»y*.. 8. 

*Soloa, 13, I. etc. 
■ See rbocylides, 17. 

* Cf, KvfivCf ip{X.w% xard icdyrai hc{6Tpt<pt icovtiXor jJBof^ 

opyijr tfvtiMt'6y<DV ^yrtr enaaroi exit, Theognis, 313. 
' Theocnis. 743 : sec i&.. 425 ; but c/. ii., 667. 

* Keiaoftat ti36re XjBoi, Theog., jM. See lA, 973, 1047. 

* Simonides of Keos, 4 ; «nd Mickiil. GretM AtUAfiUgy, p, J40h 



IDEALS. 



dar;' he who has achieved does not think of death.* 
Victory in the games loves song, the fittest 
fUMAf. follower of crowns and valiant deeds,' which 
hide ye not in silence.* The report living after a man 
reveals his life to the poets; * but one who has achieved, 
if his deeds are unsung, goes to Hades having breathed 
vainly and gained short joy.' What is man ? A shadow 
dream, a thing of a day; yet god-given glory may make 
his life serene.' Fame compensates for life's shortness; 
mortal achievement is of absolute worth despite mortality. 
The Greeks of Pindar's time hardly conceived of anything 
as Sne which was unknown to fame. 

Clearly the Greeks viewed achievement, saw wherein 
it consisted and its difficulties. Well they knew what 
endeavor was needed to excel among Greeks, and how 
hard to gain was all wise skilfulncss.* So was valorous 
endeavor one noble clement of the fair deed. The deified 
incarnation of this was Heracles, the hero-god,' leader in 
the commonalty of toil. Sluggish capacities, faculty and 
strength which court not dangers, have no honor." The 
poet praises toil, which, to be perfect, must attain suc- 
cess. " We win in the games, as in battle, as in life, by 
the favor of God, ourselves not lacking in valor." *' The 
favor of God gives and sanctifies success, itself the proof 
of merit ; for God favors only the worthy. Who will do, 
must suffer;" no happiness comes without toil;" delight 
follows the swifter for it." Pindar did not look on tlie 
toil itself as joyful: toil was toil." The victory brought^ 

'<?/.. fl. 56. 'AVw., Hi. 7. 

' OK. Tiii. 71. *Nem., ix. 6. 

^ PytA., 1,93. 

'O/,. X. 100. Tbe dead benesth the earth hear of the glocy of their 
descendants. — Pyth., t, 100. 

' PytA., Tiii, 91. 

*3o^ai utr aiwetvadt Oi., iz. 107. 

*^M»( e«rff, iV«w»., iii. 33. 

" AtirSvYM dperatt Oi,, Ti. 9. 

'•t/. AVw.. X, 94. See .Vtm.. Tiii, 50: />/*.. x, 43. Neverthelc 
Pindar is m the way toward ^tcfayliu* " from suffering, knowlcdt^" 



"<3/..Tiii.68;^/. CV., ii, ttg. 
»• JVem., iv, 31. 
'• Pyt*., Kil, a«. 
»• A'em., Tii. 74- 



GREEK PEINCIPLES OF UFE. 



223 



forgetfulness of the pain. " Best physician for labors 
undei^one is noble cheer; and songs, cunning daughters 
of the Muses, charm with their touch." ' 

Valor and good counsel are two virtues ; ' but the might 
and wisdom and eloquence of mortals come from the 
gods:' boast not; it is all Zeus.* And let no man be 
insolent, but always desire things fit for his mortality.' 
Pindar loved splendor, — the splendor of marble columns 
and the splendid feast, and too the splendor of the hero- 
past. Naturally he prized a further factor in a man's 
success. — his inheritance of virtue from good ancestors: 
The man sprung from the common herd shall hardly rival 
the noble-born." 

Pindar was indeed Greek, seeing mortality's limitations, 
and deeply feeling the greatness of man, kin to the gods, 
sprung from the same earth-mother, a thing of naught, 
ignorant of his destiny, but with some likeness to the 
greatness of mind and nature of the immortals.^ Let 
man recognize what is great; above all, reverence the 
gods, thinking no ill things of them;' then honor himself 
in right prizing of his nature, in right understanding of his 
faculties, in right endeavor after the noble, fitting deed, 
seizing the moment. Small help in excuse, daughter of 
latc-considcring after-thought.' Rightly Pindar knows 
that wealth is a good only to the wise: Be thy life sim- 
ple, such as the wise praise,"* and hope that god-given 
glory will crown it all. After death, there is one below to 
punish the evil; but those who have kept troth and their 
' N<m., W, I. 

' See Pyik.. ii, 63. 

* Pyth., i, 41 ; Itth.. m, 4. 

* IttA., iv. 4g. See Pyik>, », 35 ; jWw., ri. 28. 

* See Pytk., iii, 59-62 ; Ot., ix, 30 ; Ol, viji, 68 ; PytM,^ B, 34 ; PytK, 
V, laa ; Pyth., viii, 73 ; Itth,, iv, 9 ; /jM., vi, 44. 

* Ot.. ii, w ; 01., vii, 91 ; 0/., ii, 107 ; /iftm.» l, 8$ ; Ntm., iii, 40w 
' See Nem., vi, i. 

•SeeO/.. ix, 40. 

* Pytk., V, 27 ; iJE, 84. 

"* jVcjw., viii, 36-40 ; Frag., 135, 



334 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



fidiylus. 



hands free from unjust deeds lead tearless lives in the 
golden islands.' Thus, considering both man's mortal 
life and what he might be beyond the grave, clearly of 
supreme import with Pindar was the man himself, dis- 
closing his own nature in strenuous endeavor or sloth or 
insolence, and, according to his worth or wort hlessn ess, 
aided or cast down by divine fortune. 

In jEschylus the growing ethical ideals of Greece came 
to expression in glorifying the qualities of Zeus, whose 
nature, except perhaps in the Ptottuthtus 
Bound, contains the highest conceptions so 
far reached. As a poet, iEschylus would be held in the 
necessity laid by the Greek creative im^ination on its 
possessors of beholding qualities and attributes embodied 
in great personalities and concrete facts. Wherefore his 
broadest ethics and profoundest thought must be included 
in the personalities of his gods, and move those dramas 
which wrought out their catastrophes under divine direct- 
ing. Otherwise the artist impulse of this Titan mind 
would be sore hampered by the admonishings of its 
rational intelligence that these things were not well. The 
dramas of iCschylus are not thus hampered; they may 
be taken to contain the farthest reach of ./Eschylean 
thought, with all its moral questionings. But there is 
also in them, at least in the Prometheus Bound, a follow- 
ing of certain not ignoble theogonic myths which prob- 
ably presented themselves as verities to the poet's mind. 
Such a complete poet, profound as was his thought, 
might not be altogether a philosopher. The artist tmagi-J 
nation cannot but hold as felt and seen realities much 
that the more predominantly scientific mind subjects to 
sceptical analysis. 

To ^Cschylus, Zeus could not but have form; his na- 
ture must be made of human qualities, though here the 
thoughtful poet would discriminate against human frailty. 
jCschylus thought of the gods generally as having had 
>0/., U. 56, etc 



CHEEK PJiWCJPLES OF UFE. 



22$ 



beginning, and so of Zeus as having once been young and 
newly come to power. Was not Zeus then less wise and 
moderate and merciful ? Young Omnipotence on the 
throne of his deposed progenitor, stiU stormfu! from 
fierce overthrow of Titans, might harshly punish the first 
disobedience of a subject. Being men, we sympathize 
with Prometheus, whose crime was excessive love for 
mankind. But the drama of Protnetheus Bound docs 
not pronounce Zeus unjust. Seeing the chained Titan, 
the chorus of nymphs exclaim at the tyrannical {oBirm^ 
rule of Zeus with his new-made laws,' but, on second 
thought, they ask Prometheus, " Dost thou not see thou 
hast erred ? " ' For themselves, they fear the power of 
Zeus, and pray never to come in conflict with his will.' 

It was an ancient thought, not commonly gainsaid 
before the time of ^Eschylus, that the all-powerful ruler 
must be right, having the supreme justification of power 
and impunity. With reference to God, this principle 
was to tax the minds of men in many lands. In Israel 
the vivid questions of Job's agony were to wither to the 
dulled hopes of the Preacher. The ethics of man's lot lie 
within this problem, the problem of all pain. It is im- 
plicit in the Promethean drama, nor does the poet solve 
it. Zeus might be harsh ; but he was supreme, ^schy- 
lus saw, therefore, no criterion by which he might b€ 
adjudged criminal. There was, moreover, another ele- 
ment compromising to Prometheus' case. We may be 
silent before the Titan's grandeur, his far vision, his 
scorn in pain. But he is a rebel: " I hate all the gods, 
all those who, having had good from me, use me ill 
unjustly,"* This is almost a cry against the supreme 
in life. Prometheus did what seemed humanely right in 
benefiting mankind. But he must expiate his benefits 
— other great benefactors of men have done so, — for they 
were conferred in accordance with the law of the supreme, 
that, in order to benefit, one must give, himself it may be; 
•yVwi.. 156. • /'rifw.. 366. ' i*r(7ffli., 535. */Vrtw.,996. 

VOL. I.— 13 



336 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



this is the law of sacrifice for all attainment. Moreover, 
the punishment of Prometheus is partly representative 
of fate, in whose action there was always the element of 
inherent necessity, to which Plato still saw the axis of the 
universe fastened.' Though Greeks might fail to bring 
all life within the compass of ethical principles, a drama 
like the Promet/ieus is mute recognition that it is futile to 
consider morality apart from life's necessary limitations, 
which are indeed the data and environment of moral law. 

But, aside from broader considerations, it is still to be 
remembered that the Zeus of the Prometheus is a thco- 
gonic Zeus fashioned to a myth. In the poet's mind he 
may not have represented the full moral governance of 
the universe. Besides which, Zeus does not state his side 
in the drama, the second of a trilogy. The third may 
have reconciled the Titan to his mighty opposite, and 
finally justified the supreme lord. 

Other dramas of jEschylus are almost monotheistic. 
From the first chorus of the Suppliants it is clear how- 
high above the world is Zeus, whose will is hard to dis- 
cern, whose ways are dark, who hurls mortals from their 
towering hopes, and without exerting his strength ; toiU 
less are the workings of the divine.' Such the power of 
Zeus, lord of endless time,' whose mind is an abyss,* and 
his goodness equals it; he is the guardian of suffering 
mortals, the awarder of evil to the evil, good to the 
good:* " King of kings, of blessed ones most blessed. 
most mighty bringer to pass, hear and grant our prayer; 
ward off the wanton outrage, so hateful to thee."* In 
the Agamemnon the chorus of old men, feeling the bur- 
den and the sense of coming ill, can think of lightening 

' Rtp.. 616. 

■ SufplianU, 89-99, 

« Sufi., 567. 

• Sup., yjb, 397. 

• Sttp.. siS, (/. Sup., SS6-S93. " Wtut wUboot tbee U •J-^-^iiiqiAt^ for 
moruU?" ^i^M 803; Agam., 1463, 



GREEK PRINCIPLES OP LIFE, 



227 



their minds only in an appeal to Zeus, the one being fit 
to aid.' 

The function of Zeus, as the awarder of evil to evil- 
doers, included both the idea of vengeance, which had its 
counterpart on earth in the natural law of retaliation,' and 
also the idea of punishment — who does wrong ought to be 
punished.' This had its counterpart in the law forming the 
basis of /Eschylcan ethics : the doer shall suITer the like of 
his deeds, evil for evil, blood for blood.* But men not 
wholly wise or just, how shall they learn ? From suffer- 
ing,* " He is wise who sings in praise of Zeus, Zeus who 
leads mortals to be wise, whose law it is that sufTcring 
shall teach. Mindfulness of woes past drops on the heart 
in sleep and makes men wise against their will." ' Not 
only does Zeus punish, but it is his way that his punish- 
ments — men's sufferings — shall teach.' This wholesome- 
ness of punishment for the wrong*doer himself is the 
crown of j^schylcan ethics; it brings the gleam of hope 
to punishment, which is vengeance broadened by the 
thought of universal right This is not far from Plato's 
thought that it is better for an evil man to be punished 
than escape/ 

iCschylean wisdom is summed up in the great chorus 
of the Eumenides : " Let awe remain to watch the heart; 
wisdom through suffering profits. Who if thoughtless of 
consequences would revere justice ? Sanction thou 
neither the unrestrained Ufe, nor the life of a slave: God 
gives might to the golden mean. Pride is the child of 
impiety; but from health of soul comes fair fortune. 
Revere the altar of justice, nor spurn it with godless foot, 
thine eyes set on gain; for punishment is at hand, and a 
fitting outcome awaits each man. He who of his free will 

' Agam., 156. * Agam., 1540, see ib., 747. 

• Chocph.. 115, 392. *Agam., 170, 241. 
*Sceattte, ' Agam., 168-174. 

'' i^a, Justice, has tbo tbe office to teadi men through their saffericgs. 
— Agam., 241. 

* rUto's Georgiat, 



33S 



ANaENT IDEALS, 



is just shall not be unblessed or utterly destroyed. But 
the sail of the unjust shall be riven, and God mocks the 
rash man who thought himself secure. Wrecked on the 
reef of justice he perishes. " ' Notice the sequence of 
thought: fear may be well; suffering profits; who would 
restrain himself were it not for consequences? Follow 
the mean, which Is self-restraint and temperance; be just, 
for the unjust perishes unawares, and the just man shall 
at least not be utterly comfortless. jEschylus connects 
the mean with the thought, from suffering, wisdom, which 
finds its sanction in that which it implies, the more than 
justice, the benevolence, of Zeus. 

^schylus had set forth in language unapproachable the 
grandeur of Zeus and his justice; showing, too, how the 
finest ethical idea so far conceived — from suffer- 
ing, wisdom^ — ^was Zeus*s law. Sophocles laid 
more exclusive stress on the intent with which an act was 
done, and brought out the idea of expiation. More defi- 
nitely than ^schylus, he asserts the identity of divine law 
with the highest principles of human conduct. ** May des- 
tiny find me unfailing in every word and deed sanctioned 
by those laws sublime, born in the ether, whose father is the 
Sky. No mortal parent was theirs, nor shall oblivion ever 
lay them to sleep. A divine power is in them that grows 
not old.'" The Antigone is the drama of the conflict 
between laws human and divine, nor is the issue left un- 
certain. Antigone stands before Creon, whose command 
she has set at naught by covering the corpse of Poly- 
neices. 

** Creon, Thou there, with the eyes fastened on the 
earth, dost thou confess or deny having done this ? 

Antigone, I admit I did it. I do not deny. 

Creon. Knewest thou our edict forbidding this thing ? 

Antigone. I knew: how could I not ? 

Creon, And yet thou durst transgress the law ? 

Antigone, Yes; for Zeus did not proclaim it, nor jus- 

» Eumemdu. 491-535. • (E<L Tjir,, 863-871. 



CREEK PRINCIPLES OF LIFE, 



229 



tice, dweller with the gods below; for they have laid 
down laws for men. Nor could I think that thine, an 
edict of mortal, could override the unwritten fixed laws 
of the gods. They are not of to-day nor yesterday, but 
live always, and no one knows when they began. I 
would not, through fear of any man's resolve, incur the 
judgment of the gods for their breach." ' 

In obedience to these divine laws Antigone covers her 
brother's body ; and she dies for her act, as human beings 
may suffer for their obedience to the laws of God in defi- 
ance of the laws of man. Such acts arc revolutionary. 
As she is passing to her living tomb, the chorus of The- 
ban elders cannot but say: " From the summit of thy 
topping boldness, my child, thou hast fallen heavily upon 
the pedestal of justice. Thou art paying for some deed 
of thy fathers,'" The old men feel there is something 
questionable in Antigone's deed, and revert to the curse 
in the family as a makeshift explanation of her conduct 
and its consequences. Antigone transgressed the king's 
law ; and who is to declare the law of God ? Sophocles 
did not touch this question, merely assuming tacitly th.T.t 
the divine law might be known from oracles and the^^ 
utterances of seers, its most general and unqualified pre- 
cepts being felt in the conscience of every one. But the 
drama leaves the conviction that the best human conduct 
is that conforming to the laws of God, which, in case of 
conflict, prevail over the ordinances of man, and woe unto 
him who does not know them, these inexorable laws!" 
The chorus at the last speak a lesson of ^q Antigone ^ 
Wisdom has the chief part in happiness, and reverence 
towards the gods must be inviolate ; great words of proud 



' Antigone, 441-460. 

* Antig<mf, 853. 

' The deities may be pitiless ftgainst those who have offended thctn. At 
the beginning of the Aias, Odysseus is moved at the sight of his crazed 
eaemy, feeling his o7n hnmantiy and chance of overthrow. But AlhCDe's 
face if set agaiiut Aiu, and she has no pity. — Soph., WiW, 123, etc. 



^30 



AHCIEtfT IDEALS. 



men bring their punishment of heavy blows, and in old 
age teach the chastened to be wise' 

Things go hard with mortals; the gods rule, and so 

they are to blame ; why not cry out against them ? is 

that not just, when fortune is insolent ?* 

Euripides, ^jjj^ jg ^jj^ radicalism of Euripides, who wiU 

not reverence the gods when his moral reason disapproves 
man's fortune and their acts. Amphitryon says to Zeus : 
"I, a mortal, surpass thee in virtue, though thou art the 
great god; for I have acted better than thou." ' Here 
Pindar would have seen blasphemy, and ^schylus, incon- 
sequence, and the more reverent wisdom of the same and 
later times, held that such lines were impious. But 
Euripides, seeing that life is hard, blames it lightly on 
the gods, whom he half disbelieves in.* Yet he has the 
remnants of the good morality which thought success to 
be the child of endeavor ; ' only one never feels sure that 
he is speaking heartily in such strains; he rolls his morals 
out so easily: "There are three virtues which thou 
shouldst revere : honor the gods, and those who nourished 
thee, and the laws common to Greece." * Euripides had 
a great faculty of speaking in the characters of his dra- 
matis persofus ; with weakened ethical convictions, he 
could the more easily put himself in another's place. He 
has still the belief of the older dramatists, that crime and 
injustice do not prosper; and who can put it better than 
Euripides ? ^pax^ta ripipts ^ovrj? xanrfs. ' Yet any 

^Antig.. 1347-1352- 

•Euripides, Su/fil, 553. 

•Eurip., HerfuUt Furent^ 542. 

' EuripMM* biiiwr sayings about the gods are scaUcred Ihrcagli Ida 
worics; see FraffmfmU, 294. 893 ; Troadti, 469; HtrntUt Furau^ '319- 
Batr/. ib., 1345 ; these bsyirigs accord with bis uwti on Ufe'» bsrdaess. — 
e. g., mttnt : n' d'oTtiot ; 6y?frd rot xexoyBa/iey- J^rag,^ 302, £rom the 
lost BdlerffhaMtti, a true Euripideao QOlc Sec also Frax., 66a. 

• Fmg., 477, 3rot">( y<x{i^ vt% Xiyovffty, tvxlticri 9fm^. Notice tl« 
«< \iyov6ir. See also Fng., 566. 239. 243. 

* Frag., 219. 

' Fr«^'* 364 ; </. />v.. 305. 



GREEK PRINCIPLES OF LIFE, 



231 



one can utter moral saws, and the finer, truer morality of 
the older dramatists is seen rather in the soundness which 
inheres in the structure of their plays and the outcome of 
each drama or trilogy, which is to such Euripidcan utter- 
ances as living a good life is to preaching it. Euripides 
must have felt that he understood all the thoughts of his 
predecessors. His was an intellect that saw the highest 
and subtlest principles; hardly a pre-Christian maxim or 
precept which he did not consider and express.' Whether 
he felt them, who knows ? Not Euripides ! 

Comparing yEschylus with Euripides, it is noticeable 
that the spiritualization of ethical principles is completed, 
and there is no longer doubt that intent is the criterion of 
innocence or guilt. This spiritualization shows itself also 
in the delineation of passion. Nothing can exceed Cly- 
temnestra's hatred of Agamemnon: "And a third blow — 
thank-offering to the gods below — -as he lay, I gave him. 
He gasped ; from the wound his blood gushed over me, 
a shower as gladdening as the rain of Zeus to the burst- 
ing blade of corn." ' As an expression of bloody physi- 
cal hate, this passage is unequalled ; yet Medea's hatred 
of Jason is to Clytcmncstra's as mind to body. She has 
slain hers and Jason's children, and has murdered Jason's 
new bride, her own supplanter. She stands in the sun- 
chariot, with the two dead children at her feet, Jason 
below, weeping, pleading to bury them, or even to touch 
them. Says Medea, " Go home and bury your wife." 
Answers Jason," I go bereaved of my children." And 
this last thrust from Medea: "You do not grieve yet. 
Wait for old age! " ' This is intellectual hatred, but as 
intense as the glad blood-bath of Clytemncstra. 

With this complete spiritualization, this intellectuality 
and thoughtfulness, has come scepticism, hesitation, and 
sophistic moralizing. " The mind is a god in each of 
us." * So be it, Euripides, and a god that speaks with a 

' See t.^. Fragt., 643, 198, g36, 746, &od iodeed liis wm)a patsim. 

* AgoM.t 1356, etc * Medea, 1394. * Frag., looj. 



232 



Af^CIENT /DEALS, 



queer divergency. " We know the good, and do not 
work it out, from laziness, or setting some pleasure 
first.** * This is the weak divergence of intelligence from 
desire, which comes with waning moral strength. " The 
tongue swore, but the heart remained unbound." ' More 
divergence and spiritualization. But here at last is what 
Euripides really feels: "One has opinions; but the truth 
we have not, child." ' 



These thoughts on life and ethical principles suggest 
the conduct which the lives of the best Greeks excmpli- 
Bed. The elements of right conduct were 
Public Meo '"t^Il'gcnce supported by a courageous will» 
the intelligence showing itself in a fair view of 
the circumstances making up the man's environment, in 
a correct judgment as to what was possible for him, in a 
choice of the very best or greatest or noblest attainable 
by him, in the avoidance of excess, in never setting great 
store on things unworthy of great pains, in abstaining 
from those acts which the ethical standards of his time 
declared wrong, and in keeping the mind balanced in the 
midst of success, and so avoiding insolence and folly. 
The courageous will was needful to enable the man, 
among the vicissitudes of life, to do in all dangers what 
his intelligence told him was best, to die for his country, 
if needs be. 

These qualities are shown by a statesman of the best 
type, like Pericles.* He chose for himself the highest 
pursuits, knowing himself capable ; he kept his mind set 
on them, never decoyed by any lure ; his conduct showed 
perfect self-control and courage, consisting in a knowl- 
edge of what is to be feared and what not, and in acting 
accordingly. That he was correct in judging himself fit 
to be a leader of the state, is shown by the fitness of alt 
his measures for the good of Athens. He estimated her 

» Hippoiytui, 380. * thid.^ 6l3. ' /"nsy., 18. 

^ So, in ft difiereot my. does Socrates' life exhibit thcm all, uuS rerf 
perfectly. 




CREEK PRINCIPLES OF UFE. 



233 



power and resources accurately, and perfectly he judged 
her character and its possibilities; likewise as to her ex- 
ternal relations and the measures proper for her, his judg- 
ment was perfect. Never was a crisis more perfectly 
understood than the approach of the Feloponnesian war 
was by him. That war was sure to come, and so he 
said; Athens was sure to win, if she would follow the 
course he planned for her. The event proved him right, 
Athens losing only because, after his death, she aban- 
doned his policy. And even now the ruins of the Par- 
thenon bear witness that Pericles' statesmanship included 
the whole well-being of the state. 

Many Greek statesmen, although possessing great in- 
telligence and mar\'ellous faculty of devising means, 
came to grievous ends because in success their love of 
glory was turned to vanity, and they failed to keep their 
poise; they were guilty of vfipts and arT)\ or they sinned 
against the principle of ^rfdiy ayav, giving too much — 
their good repute — for worthless gains. An instance of 
this less perfect type is Themtstoclcs; gifted with as keen 
intelligence as ever mortal man, in great success his 
character failed him. So he fell, nor had the courage to 
remain nobly fallen, mindful of his country, and holding 
to the noble selfishness called patriotism, which might 
have restored him to Athens and preserved his glory; 
but he must needs, in his vanity and eagerness of self, 
become a traitor to all that had made him Themistocles. 
Other examples of this less perfect type are Miltiades, 
who also lost his poise ; Alcibiades, who never had poise 
or honesty of purpose, and whose vanity doomed him 
from his youth; or Pausanias and other Spartans, who 
could not refuse bribes. 

Evidently it was essential to all Greek careers, indeed 
to all admirable and characteristic Greek action, as well 
as to the development of the underlying prin- 

Eand views of life, that the individual 
have power to shape his life according 
will, — that he should be free. The thought of free- 



Greek 

Freedom. 



234 



ANCIENT WEALS, 



dom is not to be dissociated from any mode of Greek life, 
private or public. It was an element, not only of Greek 
citizenship, but of Greek manhood. The life of the 
Greek man in his individual interests and family relation- 
ships was unimpeded by rigid complexities of ceremonial 
observance. The capable man knew enough of life 
and its rules of right and wrong to regulate his conduct; 
the wise father could lead his household in matters of 
daily right relationship to superhuman powers. There 
grew up in Greece no numerous class of priests, necessary 
intermediaries between men and gods, and so authorita* 
tive regulators of men's daily lives. The Greek ordered 
his life in his relations to the divine as well as human, an 
ordering which, if free, was careful and strenuous. In bis 
civic relationships, likewise, should the Greek be free, 
strenuously self-ordered. And in great Greek days citi- 
zens put more on themselves than any tyrant ever im- 
posed on subjects. But these self-orderings and imposi- 
tions of tasks upon themselves should all be along the 
lines of conduct, achievement, attainment, self-perfect- 
ing development approved by Greek intelligence and 
prompted by the full compass of Greek desire. 

The Greek city-state itself, the noXti, might be re- 
garded either as government or as the sum total of the 

lives and interests of its citizens. But how- 
The Greek ^^^^ regarded, the qualities and principles of 
Aristo'tle't conduct admired in a state were the same as 
Views. those admired in an individual. Indeed under 

the latter aspect, as Plato, Aristotle, or Peri- 
cles sought ever to regard the state, it was the citizen 
writ large. " For those who believe that a good life in 
the case of an individual depends upon wealth, agree in 
considering that the state also as a whole is happy if it is 
wealthy; those who hold a life of tyranny in most honor 
for individuals, will all say that the state which has the 
largest number of subjects is the happiest; and one who 
recognizes in virtue the source of an individual's happi- 



« 



I 
I 

I 
I 




CREEK PRINUPLES OF UFE, 



235 



Tiess, wHl assert that the more virtuous state also is the 
happier." ' 

Seen from the outside, a Greek city-state was an 
autonomous community, walled in, and surrounded by 
an area of appertinent country. Athens, the largest of 
them, was originally formed from the consoHdation of 
several small neighbor communities. Sparta was itself 
smaller than Athens, but had a large area of land — La- 
conia — which was occupied by a subject population. The 
governments of these city-states are usually classed under 
heads of Monarchy, Aristocracy, and Democracy. Any 
of these forms might contain what Greek sentiment ap- 
proved. And they differed from their "perversions " by 
possessing universally admired qualities which the latter 
lacked, — intelligence, reverence, self-restraint, temper- 
ance, the outcome of which in a government is adjust- 
ment of function to capacity, and law-abidingness, or 
what Socrates calls justice.' Monarchy was the oldest. 
Sanctioned by Homer, it existed in Sparta through his- 
toric times. The carefully limited dual monarchy of 
Sparta was perhaps more widely respected than any 
other government in Greece. A tyranny differed from a 
monarchy in that it began in seizure of what the tyrant 
had no right to, — supreme power. Then, in contrast to 
the rightly ruling king, the tyrant sought not his subjects' 
J good; but was unrestrained, irreverent of right, guilty of 
vfipis, the insolence of outrage; to kill him canonized 
the slayer. Aristocracies were next in order of origin ; 
Aristotle calls their perversions Oligarchies, Here again 
there was nothing in the form which prevented the gov- 
ernment from containing much approved by Grecian sen- 
timent. A government of this form might be time- 
honored, like that of the BacchiadcC at Corinth; it might 
refrain from outrage, might be law-abiding. More fre- 
quently an oligarchy was a many-headed tyrant, licen- 
tious, evil-minded to the many. Finally a democracy 
' Arist., Paiitits. rii, a. ' Xen,, Mtmvra^Ua, iv, 4. 



336 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



might be also good or bad, reverent or shameless. At 
Athens democracy came gradually. Aristocratic elements 
were perhaps predominant even under Solon's laws. The 
democracy is completed under Pericles, and after his time 
suffered with the state's decline.' The Athenian de- 
mocracy fascinated Greece, and probably few can follow 
its course without thinking that on the whole it held more 
elements admirable from an Hellenic point of view than 
any other Greek government. It came to embody the 
early Solonian precept that no citizen should be uncon- 
cerned in the state's political welfare. For Solon had 
enacted that when there were civic disturbances, whoever 
did not take up arms for one side or the other should be 
disfranchised and have no part in the city.' And perhaps 
more temperately than any other Grecian city, yet with 
unfaltering bravery and resolution, Athens fulSlled the 
old saying of Heraclitus: " The people must fight for its 
laws as for its walls." 

Thus the righteousness of a Greek city-state, viewed 
as government, lay in the observance of law and the 
maintenance of justice. From the side of the citizen, it 
meant immunity from despotic robbery and outrage, the 
preservation of what the customs and thought of the 
Greek communities recognized as his rights ; and within 
the compass of these rights, it meant liberty. 

As in Greece it could not but be recognized as misfor* 
tunc to be debarred from the exercise of that portion of 
human faculty and freedom which employs itself in 
political government, the niatter of the form of go\*em- 
mcnt could raise the question of lawfulness and justice 
from the point of view of the right of every citizen to 
participate therein. This becomes clearer when the state 
is regarded not merely as the governing function in the 
community, but as the community itself, ^ncwcd as an 
organism wherein the citizens arc members, an organism, 

* Cf. Arblot)e*» OwtfiMfwn t/Atikau. 

* AriHode'i i».. riiL 



GREEK' PKIXCTPLES OF LTFE. 



^17 



therefore, that includes and is the totality of the pur- 
poses and attainments which their lives may compass. 
The right of the citizen to participate in the government 
of the state is then a right to participate in the control 
and freedom, the higher life, of this supreme and com- 
prehensive organism. The evolution of Athenian de- 
mocracy presents the most luminous illustration of this 
principle, a principle, however, which Aristotle thought 
should remain subject to limitations set by the citizens' 
fitness to participate in the government. The state, says 
he, " is an association of households and families in well- 
being with a view to a complete and independent exist- 
ence ... in a life of felicity and nobleness. The 
object of the political association is not merely a com- 
mon life but noble action. And from this it follows that 
they who contribute most to the association, as so con- 
ceived, possess a larger interest in the state than they 
who are equal or superior in personal liberty, or birth, or 
wealth, but inferior in political virtue." ' But democrats 
" hold that justice is equality; and so it is, but not for all 
the world, but only for equals," while oligarchs hold that 
" inequality is justice; and so it is, but only for unequals. 
Both put out of sight one side of the relation. . . . The 
oligarchs, if they arc superior in a particular point, viz., 
in money, assume themselves to be superior altogether ; 
while the democrats, if they are equal in a particular 
point, viz., in personal liberty, assume themselves to be 
equal altogether." ' Each party represents but a partial 
justice. Were the state an association for increasing the 
multitude of possessions, the oligarchs would be right. 
Thereupon he points out the fallacy in the view that in- 
feriority in ore respect, wealth for instance, implies infe- 
riority in all respects, and renders a man unfit to share 
in the government,* and he argues conversely that not 

■ PoHtUs, iti, 9, Weldon'B traDslatJoD. 
' Ih., iii, 9 ; set also v, X, 
* /*., iii, 13. 



23$ 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



every superiority entitles its possessor to a lai^er share !n 
the government.' 

With Aristotle, ethics, the well-being of the individ- 
ual, leads up to politics, the well-being of the state: 
" We have seen that in all sciences and arts the end 
proposed is some good, that in the supreme of all sciences 
and arts, i.r., the political faculty, the end is pre- 
eminently the highest good, and that justice, or in other 
words, the interest of the community, is the highest 
good."' He thought every form of government per- 
verted which did not aim at the well-being of the entire 
community, but sought only to benefit an individual or 
a class; tyranny — a perversion of kingship — is for the 
benefit of the tyrant ; oligarchy — a perversion of aris- 
tocracy — for the benefit of the rich; democracy — a per- 
version of the polity — for the benefit of the poor.' He 
always had in mtnd an ideal polity, consisting in a right 
mingling of aristocratic and democratic elements, making 
a mean between the two.* Love of the mean follows 
him through his political discussions, in which he regards 
the middle class as most fortunate, and as the class 
which should hold the balance of power between the poor 
and the rich.' He speaks of the occasional advisability 
of getting rid of pre-eminent individuals — as Periandcr 
sagely cut off the tallest heads — even in governments 
which are not perversions. No painter, says he, admits 
anything, however beautiful in itself, out of proportion 

' PoHtict, iii, 13. 

• lb,, iii, 13, WeWon's translation ; see also Nuk. ElkitSt 1, 1. Thcmsft 
Amtotle wai not a man of affnin. ■ gnutp of political matten waa 
pven him by his knowledge and his aptitude for sysiemaiiiiog. While not 
■lurajrs free from prejadices, he could be impartiaL Not cooietTmiiTe him* 
self, he saw the value of conservatism and the import of initial changes. 
** There is no parallel in altering an art and atiering a law. For all the 
potency of a law to receive obedience depends upon habtt, and habit cAa 
only be formed by lapse of t\mc"— Politics, ii, 8. On the other hand. 
he remarks, it is not what is andent, but what is good, that the woflA 
va.Dts. — /*. 

•y*.,iii. 7- 



^Sttlh., IT, 9, n ; TT, g. 



•v»..Ktu 



GREEK PRINCIPLES OF UFE. 



239 



to the rest of his picture.' In discussing political matters, 
Aristotle seems to be drawn by the exigencies of the sub- 
ject from his idea that a life of contemplation Is the best. 
Such a life it were futile to expect from a community.* 
Yet although when laying stress^ as he needs must, on 
virtue as the chief good for a state, he lets the contempla- 
tive life pass from his view, he ever and again returns to the 
thought that the highest life is the speculative, and finds 
truth in this thought for states as well as individuals.* 

Like the individual, then, of which it is tlie greater 
counterpart, the state cannot have happiness without the 
qualities on which it depends, — valor, justice, prudence, 
and temperance — nor the highest happiness without phil- 
osophy.* So speaks Aristotle. It was no peculiar view 
of his that the well-being of the state and of the individ- 
ual are the same. The ideal conduct for the state was 
the same as for the citizen, and when success and glory 
came to states, it was through the same qualities that 
made the statesman great. In the various Greek city- 
commonwealths these qualities existed in different de- 
grees, some communities possessing more of one good 
quality, others more of another, and through the same 
besetting sins which ruined statesmen, came the fall of 
states. Athens is ever the example ; she had the intelli- 
gence and she had the courage, she set her heart on her- 
self and her glory as worthy of all hazard and exertion. 
Therefore she overcame at Marathon ; therefore, giving up 
her city, she saved herself and Greece, and all of us to-day, 
it may be, from pernicious Asia; therefore she would 
never join with Persia to enslave Greece ; therefore she 
rose to empire, and crowned herself with garlands of great 

' PoiHi<s. iii, 13. Yet, after all, Aristotle returns to his logic as to llic 
rightful grounds of political aatharily, and asserts that an individual ovcr- 
■wbelmingly pre-eminent in >-irtuo ought to rule. — lb, 

' The best life for the slate '" is one which possesses Tirlue famished with 
external advantigcs to sach 4 degree as to be capable of actions according to 
▼irtue," — /ft., viii, i, 

■/f.,vii, 3. *V».,vii, I. 



240 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



Civic 
Liberty. 



deeds and fame, and made her city beautiful. And afterj 
this, ready enough was she to fight that she might hok 
her empire and her glory. But Athens failed to keep her 
poise; she aspired to conquests beyond her strength, she 
too was guilty of ont} and v^pts. 

The racial superiority of Aryan peoples of Europe over 
their Asiatic kin markedly appears in their capacity 
for developing the free institutions of self- 
government, after emerging from early rude 
intolerance of restraint. No Asiatics madeJ 
this advance. As Vedic Indians or Persians laid" 
aside their first mountain bravery, they laid their 
liberty aside. Their strength of character, their power 
of civic self-ordering, did not reach to the compli- 
cated exigencies of civilized life. In Europe, peoples of 
kindred stock have passed out of savager>* and thence 
under primitive kingships. At this stage, with Asiatic 
Aryans, the limitations on the king's power make impo- 
tent surrender to absolute monarchy. With Greeks and 
Romans, like early limitations gather strength, and posi- 
tively assert themselves as rights of other members of the 
community to participate in its direction. Thenceforth 
the irresponsible rule of a monarch is held a thing unreas- 
enable, monstrous, and unjust. " That is not a city 
which belongs to one man." * 

In Greece, this was primarily a matter of rational, stren- ' 
uous self-assertion of the individual — of the mass of indi- 
viduals constituting the city-state. First, the better few 
assert themselves against the single king; then comes the 
self-assertion, often bloody, of wider circles of individuals 
against the grasping oligarchs. Along with this primary 
mode of the struggle goes endeavor to remove the arbi- 
trary' element from authority, and in its place compel 
ruling individuals or bodies, in the use of their powers, to 
follow not their good pleasure or peculiar lust, but that 
which had been formulated as right and recognized as law, 
whether declared in the form of codes or existing in the 
' Soph., Amtig., 735. 



GREEK PRINCIPLES OF LIFE, 



241 



definite consciousness of the community. This endeavor, 
if successful, issues in constitutional government adminis- 
tering law. Such a government Is the highest expression 
of consensual civic freedom ; and the liberty of the citizen 
consists in maintaining it, holding it to unfailing corre- 
spondence with the varying needs and advancing life of 
the community, and in obeying it. Civic liberty did not 
absolve from duties, but imposed them: " Stranger, tell 
the Lacedemonians that here, obedient to their laws, we 
lie." This immortal epitaph is a consummate expression 
of Greek liberty. 

That the Greek city-states were enabled to evolve these 
modes of self-government and maintain liberty, was due 
to Greek rational intelligence ordering the full compass of 
Greek desires, and to the strength of those desires ordered 
thus, and thus transformed into the energy of character 
which, through the great days of Greece, empowered 
Greeks to do the dictates of their reason. In lowly mode 
this strength of character showed itself in laying aside 
the luxuriant flowing eastern garb, and turning to a 
hardier, more athletic dress. First this change was made 
in Sparta, when her citizens imposed on themselves the 
terrific Lycurgan regime of life; ' then were like changes 
made at Athens, as her spirit rose and chastened itself. 
So throughout Greece such reforms accorded with the 
intelligent strength of mind with which the Greek set 
about purposefully' to perfect his physique. In mode 
sublime this same energy was shown in the sacrifice of 
hearth and home whereby Athens guarded her trust of 
liberty from the Persian. 

The relation of duty on the part of the citizen towards 
his city was a matter of this strength of character directed 
by intelligence. It is well summed by such a 
word as aiSaoSj which is a twofold sentiment, 
reverence for all things to be desired and 
revered, and shame at all things shortsighted, 
evil, shameful, unreasonable, and so cowardly. 
» Thttcyd., i, 6. 



Honor, 

Temper- 
ance, 
Beauty. 

It was 



242 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



the Greek honor, a reflex of the sum of ethical a|2P'"ovaIs 
become instinctive in the strong character which they had 
moulded.' It was a sentiment of intelligence, a child of 
forethought, as Pindar most Greekly calls it, npO}itxBios 
aidarS which puts valor in men.' 

Education should accustom Greek youths to ettSa>s,* 
as a habit of the soul, whereby habitually and instinc- 
tively they might shun base things, and obey the dictates 
of reverence. This principle touched all parts of life; 
but especially from its inculcation should youths gain 
devotion to the city and courage to die for it. Despite 
much intractable individuality and selfishness among the 
Greeks, and the frequent partisan hatred which narrowed 
Greek souls, nevertheless, till times of decadence, all-mas- 
tering was the sentiment of standing steadfast unto death 
for that higher unity of interest, the city, which held the 
citizen and all his interests within its greater worth.* 

" They fled from dishonor," says Pericles over the 
fallen Athenians, "but on the battle-field their feet stood 
fast." ' And the dominant note of the great funeral ora- 
tion is honor, glory, and the undying fame won by en- 
lightened and courageous discharge of duty to the state. 
Athens's bitter enemies had said of her citizens: " Their 

' Thus it appears in Homer. '* Why. GUuctu," stjrs Sarpedoa, " w higk 
honor paid (a thcc and mc in Syria, antl all look on ui a* gods? and for 
what do we hold a great and fair demesne by the banks of Xanthos ? Where' 
fore now foremost among the Lycians must we withstand the baming E^U, 
so that Ihey may say, not inglorions are these kings of ours who rule in 
Lycin and cat fat sheep and drink sweet wine." — liiati, xxx, 13. With a 
like sense of ntthUsus't^lige Odysseus feels that be most rescue hu vanulwd 
comrades on Circe's Island. 

' 01.. vii. 44. 

' Cf. Hermann, Hani^tuk, vol. iv., % 34. 

* The absorbing interest of the Greek in his city showed itself in his loving 
adonunent of it with fair buildings, while throughout all the great days of 
Greece private dwellings remained slight and anadomed. Indeed the 
home-life seems meagre compared with citic life. Greeks lived in the 
market-place, in the law-courts and political assemblies, ia the gynmasia, 
and later in the schools of philosophy. 

* Thucydidec, ii, 43 ; e/. Thnt^d., U 144. 



GREEK PRINCIPLES OF LIFE. 



243 



bodies they devote to their country as though they 
belonged to other men; their true self is their niind, 
which is most truly their own when employed in her serv- 
ice." ' Love of the state is the most enhghtened love of 
self. " I would have you day by day fix your eyes upon 
the greatness of Athens, until you become filled with the 
love of her; and when you are impressed with the specta- 
cle of her glory, reflect that this empire has been acquired 
by men who knew their duty and had the courage to do 
it, who in the hour of conflict had the fear of dishonor 
always present to them, and who, if ever they failed in 
an enterprise, would not allow their virtues to be lost to 
their country, but freely gave their lives to her as the 
fairest offering which they could present at her feast. 
The sacrifice which they collectively made was individ- 
ually repaid to them; for they received again each one 
for himself a praise which grows not old and the noblest 
of all sepulchres. I speak not of that in which their 
remains are laid, but of that in which their glory survives, 
and is proclaimed always and on every fitting occasion 
both in word and deed. For the whole world is the sep- 
ulchre of famous men." * 

Shame was the spur, fame the goal. Achilles in his 
boyhood made great deeds his play,' and in his manhood 
gave his life for fame. Says Pindar. ofxoB^ ^iarevSy^ 
" seek at home," look to your virtues and accomplish- 
ments; these, which are yourself, — nothing else, — shall 
give you glory. Greeks cared much for wealth; wise 
Greeks saw there could come much good from it, when 
the possessor had also wisdom. Yet wealth was recog- 
nized as but an accessory and possession. Possessions 
might satisfy a barbarian,* give him glory, but not a 

' Thacyd.. i, 70. Speech of CorintMan eoTOjrs at Sparta. 
'Thucyd., ii, 43. The*e extracts from Thucydides are from Jowett's 
truislatloo. 
• Find., AViw., Hi, 43. 

*/*..!«. 31. 

' Great va« Pcrsiaii wonder that Greeks itrove fat oUtc crowns. — Herod., 



/ 



244 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



Greek. Glory and fame came to Greeks from deed^ 
done, not from things possessed.' Fame was the crown 
of toil, making men immortal. " To all men equally 
Cometh the wave of death ; and fallcth on the fameless 
and the famed; howbeit honor ariseth for them whose 
fair story God increaseth to befriend them when dead." * 
He whose heart is set on valor, giving up wealth and 
toiling therefor and doing noble deeds, deserves the meed 
of praise and fame ; ' meet for such deeds is divine song,* 
which adds to fame, itself beautiful, the element of 
formal beauty. 

The spiritual splendor, fame, is brought by success, 
the fitting outcome of endeavor. It was not natural 
with a Greek to think of merit without thinking of it as 
completed by success. Success made beautiful the man's 
endeavor; it came from the union of virtue with good 
fortune: " When a man hastens, God joins him,"' a 
principle of Homer as well as ^schylus. It is possible 
to feel the beauty of a career like Timoleon's, of com- 
plete divine success, and the perfectness of it. Feeling 
its beauty, if we think how the Greeks regarded such 
success as the stamp of divine recognition of excellence, 
we shall understand how it called forth their reverence. 

To the Greeks of the best Greek days, all sides of life 
and modes of viewing it were so correlated in the bonds 
of reason that the several virtues and excellences appear 
as aspects of each other; they were different phases of 
the same rationally sanctioned principles which based 
themselves upon intelligent, comprehensive, all-propor- , 
tioning consideration of life. In manner brave and open* 

' See Pindu', Pydk., viii, 85-ioa 

* PincL. Nem., rii, 30, Myer'c tnnslation. So god-givaa flory wMf 
blets man who ii bttt a tluidow.<lre«iD. — Pyth., vUi, 93. 

* rind., IstM., I, .(3; in, 7 
♦Find., Nrm., u. 6. 

* ^sch., Pers., 733. DnncMtlietics, it Oljrnthtic, exprcascs tlw 1 
tboaghi : a nuin who is inert oumol expect bis frienJs, moch less tbe go^ 
to help him. 



G/!EEAr BBWCIBLBS OF LIFE, 



245 



eyed, Greek ethics would take account of all life's facts. 
With reference to life's full content^ Greek principles of 
conduct slowly shape themselves. These, followed stren- 
uously, become elements of character and issue in the 
sense of aidoos^ and this aidcos is begotten of intelligence 
and so relates itself to the proportioning principle of con- 
duct—nothing too much — and of the best the most. Then 
these same principles, as man's inner nature, represent 
the condition of a mind sane and safe, moderate, propor- 
tioning, ffoKppcjv (arc5; and <ppi}v)^ whose is the quality 
of aco<ppo^vvT}f moderation, temperance, self-restraint, 
that which lusts for nothing overmuch. 

A03q}po(Svvtjj'' as well as aidcoSj was an aim in the edu- 
cation of youth. To aid the youth to subject his body 
to his mind, give him temperance and self-control, and 
finely harmonize his complex being, mathematics, music, 
harmony, and rhythm were taught.' Plato and Aristotle 
thought music had great influence in moulding character, 
and found in it encouragement to duty, incitement to fight 
and die therefor, or calm influence, toning and attuning 
the character, freeing it from all excess, and bringing it 
into a state of rhythmical, harmonious, beautiful activity.* 
Says Plato: "Rhythm and harmony sink into the recesses 
of the soul, and make the man graceful, if rightly trained 
therein ; but if not, the reverse. He who has been duly 
nurtured in these matters will have the keenest eye for 
defects, whether failures of art or misgrowths of nature; 
and, feeling a just disdain for them, will admire beautiful 
objects and gladly receive them into his soul, and nourish 
himself on them and grow to be fair and good ; and, reach- 

' PIsto In Ok Charmidfs makes this word alude \ round of definitions. 

' A musical education would include a knowledge of /SuO^Jof, messured 
time, and dpftoyia ; it would include playing on the lyre, singing, and 
keeping step as in a chorus. — FUto, Alcib., i, toS d. 

' Plato. Rep., iii. 398-403 ; Aristotle. Pol., viii, chaps, v-viil. Of the 
modes of melody or music, ihcy approved most of all the Dorian ; And dis- 
approved the Lydian, as tending towards voluptuausness. C/. D. B. 
Monro, Alodtt of Aruitnt Mmu, p. 7, etc 



346 



ANCJEfTT IDEALS, 



ing the age when reason comes to men, will welcome her as 
akin to himself, because he has been thus nurtured. Men 
never become truly musical until they know the essential 
forms (or ideas) of temperance and courage and liberality 
and munificence and all akin to these, and their oppositcs. 
Surely, then, what fairer spectacle can there be to him 
who has an eye to see, than that of a man who, with 
beauty of soul, combines beauty of form corresponding 
and harmonizing with the beauty within, because having 
share in the same pattern? He who is truly musical will 
love only such men, and will not love him in whom there 
is dissonance." ' 

The principle of otiSois holds many of life's weightier 
matters; but life's lighter, subtler, lovelier phases escape 
its loftiness, Hoag}(ioavvtj is somewhat negative, keeping 
men from excess. And these principles are not altogether 
final, inasmuch as neither holds the thought of the all- 
complete perfection which gives joy. There was, however, 
applicable to conduct a thought final, positive, and all- 
inclusive; all-inclusive, in that it compassed whatever 
aiSoo; held and all the joy-inspiring loveliness which did 
not clearly come within its scope ; positive, in that, while 
of a surety it forbade excess, it meant also fulness, the 
presence of everything which should be there; and it was 
final in that it held perfection. This was the thought of 
beauty. In the works of poets, artists, and philosophers 
this crowning Hellenic thought appears enlarged, enlight- 
ened, its elements clear and distinguishable. It also lived 
beyond these works. No act of life but presented itself 
to the Greek consciousness as beautiful or ugly. This 
thought was the stamp of what was Greek, herein Ho- 
mer's Achxans prove themselves Hellenes; and in times 
of degeneracy, by failing to keep the thought of beauty 
inclusive of all life, those who were Greek by race belied 
their racehood, fell from the large pattern of their heri- 
tage. 

» PUto. Htf., iii. 401 c-4(U e ; c/. Ttnueos. 8? c 




CREEK PRINCIPLES OF LIFE, 



247 



Wide was the ethical significance carried in the epics 
by the word «aAoS; ' in later literature its meaning ranged 
from beautiful to the eye or ear to " right.'" Applied to 
conduct, it meant honorable, that which conformed to 
aidck, and it might carry the notion of being best for the 
doer too. This twofold significance appears in words 
spoken by Antigone, xaXov fdoi toCto Ttotovct} Oavtiy^* 
" it will be well for me to die doing this," for " I shall 
rest a loved one with him I loved, sinless in my breach of 
human law; duties more enduring than to the living I 
owe to those below, where I shall be forever."* This 
incidental meaning of ultimate advantage, is often absent. 
Neoptolemussays: I had rather fail, doing nobly (xaAoJf), 
than conquer dishonorably (jco-Jtoj?)-' Ot^i?, the eternal 
right, is the Beautiful {to xaXor), with the divine sanction 
added. "Thou art Polyneices' sire," says Antigone to 
CHdipus, "and though he may have wronged thee, it 
is not Befits for thee to wrong him."' This word may 
contain the idea of what is fated,' and thus what is 6ifA^ 
and xaXov is brought into relation with the moral order, 
a breach of which is surely avenged by fate. 

Many years before Plato, had Sappho cried: *' He who 
is beautiful to look upon is good; and who Is good will 

' See aHte, p. 185. 

'The wonl has also idiomatic me&nings ; /^., pur yap tr KttX^ 
^)fi6yetK, " be wise ia lime," Soph., £/et., 384, <■/. (EJ. T., 78 ; nee also 
Soph., EUk., 662 ; Soph,, Frag., 849, and 0eu7f hqlKcl, pleasing to the 
gods. — Soph., Aniig., 915. 

' Soph., Aittig., 72. The words refer I0 the burial of her brother 
Poly nci CCS. 

• C/. Aniig., 557. Elektra (Soph.. Etektra, 237) asks how could It be 
naXov for her to forget the dead. It would be neither honorable nor for 
one's good, for the deftd avenge themselves. 

' Soph., Phitok.. 94; c/. Soph., v4iAr, I349. So in Euripides' famoni 
phrase, TO KokCv 6^>a\fp6v,-~lpk. in AuHs, ai, i>., penlous honor. 

•Soph., (EJ. CeL, Ii8q, t/. U., 1031, where CEdipos would kiss the 
cheek of his preiscrwr Theseus, but hardly thinks it Orf/iifi for one jMlluted. 
In Soph.. EUk., 56$, it is said that it would not be ^iliti for polluted Cly. 
temnestra to have direct word from Artemis. 

■ Se« Soph,, PhiUk., 546, and anit. 



CHAPTER IX. 



GREEK ART AND POETRY. 



Exempli- 
fication of 
Greek 
Ideala ia 
Poetry 
and Art. 



OF necessity Greek principles of conduct must be set 
forth and illustrated from Greek poetry and art. 
But not alone as sources of information^ or inci- 
dentally, do these two bear witness to Greek traits, and to 
the desires and loves, the admirations and ideals, of the 
Hellenic race. For in themselves Greek poetry 
and art afford ideal exemplifications of all 
these matters, exemplifications free from the 
shortcomings of life's actual opportunities, and 
formed and fashioned that they might be per- 
fect and have the beauty which perfection is. 
The exemplification is twofold, in substance and in fonn. 
The first lies in the subject chosen, the elements of life 
which the poem or statue shall set forth ; let them be 
lai^, and in their action unimpeded, undiminished by 
untoward accident. The second lies in the manner of 
accomplishment, the formal beauty of the work of art. 

The subjects of Greek art and poetry are from the 
fund of fact and knowledge, ethical principles, and views 
of life, which the Greeks had gathered with experience. 
They relate to the compass of Greek desires — the mani- 
fold content of human life. The choice of subject also 
would show how the Greek desired the most of life, and 
with discrimination desired the best of it. Herein would 
also enter Greek proportioning intelligence seeking to set 
forth the subject chosen, and the very best and most of 
its essential qualities, not other lesser or irrelevant mat- 

S49 




250 



ANCIENT /DEALS, 



tcrs. So there appear in these creations largeness and 
unity, the qualities of the subject greatcned to sublimity, 
and shown inevitably to be seen, unbefogged by other 
things. This last quality of definite unit>* would spring 
from the clearness of the Greek precipience, the purity 
of outline of all images reflected in the Greek conscious- 
ness, and from the corresponding lucidity of Greek intel- 
lect, which kept all its concepts free of inconsistency, 
sharply distinguished from their contraries. Finally, the 
Greek visualizing, grasping, and fast -holding artistic 
imagination sees and shapes the content of Greek experi- 
ence in concrete personality and action. 

Because to high intelligence the Greeks united supreme 
creative artist-faculty, they recognized and illustrated in 
their works the broad identity of the principles underlj-ing 
excellent accomplishment in all fine art, principles which, 
in their application to poetry, sculpture, painting, archi- 
tecture, are subject only to such special variances as are 
imposed by the different means and material which each 
art employs. Well knew the Greek, knew with his mind 
and realized with his imagination instinctively, that the 
principles of artistic unity apply to all the arts; he knew 
that all the arts might rightly strive to set forth life's best ■ 
and highest, the noblest qualities of man in grand deline- ' 
ations; he knew how, in all the arts, effects are height- 
ened by contrast and proportion ; and how all arts, in 
setting life forth, follow life. A result is that, in Greek 
marbles, greatened human qualities unite in ideal person- 
alities, even as like qualities arc made manifest in the 
character and action of jEschylus* or Sophocles' dramatis ] 
persona, or appear reflected in the arduous and high* 
accomplishment of those on whom the odes of Pindar 
6ash a golden fame. 

Pindar makes the man's fair deed show forth the great- 
ness of the man, and exhibit human faculty heightened 
to sublimity and beauty; he encircles the man with a 
setting of his fair deeds, and each deed greatened in its 



GREEK ART AND POETRY. 



251 



Tbe Grc«t- 
oess of 

Piad&r, the 

Drama- 

titts, and 

Phidias. 



pain and difficulty. No hero wins easily; strong are 

opponents, hard is success, and the way beset 

with destiny. He must be wise and strenuous 

who attains. Great, therefore, is the hero who 

is crowned : onlookers take him for a god. 

Or again, Pindar heightens life by setting forth 

the burning eagerness with which men seek its 

prizes; he shows how fair it is and worthy to be 

loved- And over all, he hangs the halo of success, divine 

in that it comes not without God aiding, and the man 

straining too. 

Pindar's art evokes the hero's greatness from his deeds. 
jEschylus manifests man's greatness in dramatic modes. 
He heightens passion in its acts, shows hate's almost 
sublimity in Clytemnestra ; he heightens the qualities of 
his cliaractcrs by showing their acts — acts which are truly 
theirs — fraught with the consequences of them, and 
linked by fate to acts which went before; then he shows 
the doers of the acts uplifted through the majesty of the 
ethical principles which encircle them with fate's control, 
and displays each act commented on by furthest choric 
wisdom. How great the greatness of the fate-encom- 
passed will that wrought these deeds! How great the 
consequential import of the man's first reddening of his 
hand in crime when he was free I Nor is this greatness 
lessened by the dark mystcriousness of answering fate, 
when the consequences of the doer's acts smother his 
vision and becloud his mind. So in grim grandeur move 
JEsc\iy\\\s creations; and likewise, though not so Titanic, 
but with fuller round of human attributes, Sophocles 
shows completed men and women. Both poets keep 
proportion true, and make sublime use of contrast, — con- 
trast of before and after the catastrophc^and admit no 
elements distracting, uncsscntiaL 

With like intcUigence, following like artistic laws, and 
with like all-grasping imagination, which fashions farthest 
life to concrete form, Phidian sculpture works; only it 



ANCIEI^T IDEALS. 

sets forth life full and quiescent, as suits marble. In 
these marble forms, life's elements are united in clear 
personalities, even as Sophocles or ^schylus or Pindar 
embodied life's inevitable laws, life's fatal bounds, life's 
grandeur, height and depth and glory, in CEdipean 
calamities and the fate-fraught deeds of Atreus's house, 
or in a song of glorious achievement at Olympia. And 
in their artist works, sculptor and poet, in modes adapted 
to their respective arts, but following principles essen- 
tially the same, strive for that perfection which is beauty. 
It is common knowledge how severed, how lacking in 
solidarity, was the Hellenic race politically, and how bitter 

were its numerous envies, hates, and jealousies, 
of BeautT ^^^ ** always felt itself the Hellenic race, and 

the rest of the world barbarians. It were hard 
to analyze this deep and broad sentiment; but we see 
some of the spiritual factors which bound together all the 
Greeks, those who dwelt in Asia Minor, Magna Grxcia. 
and the many islands of the Mediterranean, as well as the 
dwellers in Hellas. There was the common speech, and 
the poetry, epic and lyric poems, and afterwards the 
dramas; then there were the games, in which all Greeks 
and none else competed. But deeper than all these, or 
rather that of which these were manifestations, were com* 
mon Hellenic traits of character, like ways of looking 
upon life, like thoughts, like tastes, like loves, — the love 
of fame, the love of knowledge, over all the love of beauty, 
of which last the orator Isocrates speaks in his //ir/nr.' 
** She was gifted above all others with beauty, the first of 
all things in majesty and honor and divincncss. Nothing 
devoid of beauty is prized; the admiration of virtue itself 
comes to this, that, of all manifestations of life, virtue is 
the most beautiful. The supremacy of beauty over all 
things can be seen from our own dispositions towards it 
and them. Other things we seek merely to attain, as we 
have need of them ; but beautiful things inspire us with 
love, love which is as much stronger than wish as its 



GREEK ART AND POETRY. 



253 



object is better. The beautiful inspire us with good-will 
at first sight ; to them alone, as to the gods, we are never 
tired of doing homage, delighting to be their slaves rather 
than the rulers of others. Care for that gift is to us so 
perfectly a religion that we hold the profaners of it in 
themselves more dishonored than sinners against others, 
while we honor for all time those who have guarded the 
glory of their own youth in the chasteness of an invio- 
lable shrine." ' 

From the beginning, the love of beauty was instinct in 
the race. As the centuries brought clearer racehood, finer 
feelings, and maturcr thought, the sense of beauty became 
an intellectual conception, while it intensified as well to 
strong emotion. Out of this last are run Sappho's mol- 
ten lyrics, nor was it unfclt by philosophers. All are 
thrilled when the fair CharmJdes enters,' or the beautiful 
youth in Xenophon's Symposium. Others besides Greeks 
feel emotion, often not of the highest, at the sight of 
beauty in human beings; but the Greeks above other 
races were moved to a higher passion, overmastering, 
inspiring. In the Phadrus* Plato, having mentioned 
the inspired madness of prophets, speaks of the madness 
inspired by the Muses, which, seizing a tender and virgin 
soul, fills it with frenzy to adorn great deeds and marshal 
them in verse. Without this rage, no one need knock at 
the Muses' door, says he, as he says in hts Symposium 
that only those poets who are inspired by love read 
immortality. Both are the same, — divine rage inspiret 
by the Muses, or the overwhelming yearning after thing, 
noble. Then, in the Pfusdrus, Plato continues, dilating 
on the dwelling-places of the soul before it fell to earth 
and all the beauties there: " And when the soul in ma.. 
has flashes of remembrance of the beauty wherein it once 
abode, then, like a bird, it would fain fly upwards, careless 
of things here; whereupon the man will seem possessed. 

* Traiulation cundcoiied from Jebli's Attit Orators, 
* Plato. Ckarmdtj, * Pkadrus^ 144, etc. 



254 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



PUto'i 

Ero9. 



This mad yearning for absolute beauty is the best of all 
frenzies; and only he possessed with it shall be called a 
lover. . . . That man whose soul has long fallen 
from its true abode or has become foul, when he sees a 
beautiful being, feels no reverence, but like a beast would 
satiate his lust ; but he who in a lovely face or form sees 
traces of the beauty whence he came, first shivers, think- 
ing of the terrors which came on him when he fell to 
earth ; then gazing, he is filled with awe, so that, did he 
not fear to be thought a madman, he would sacrifice to 
his beloved as to the image of a god. Soon a revulsion 
seizes him and a warmth, till the sweat pours from his 
body." 

Thus in the Pkadrus, with profusion of detail and 
poetic imagery, as was his wont, Plato expresses the 
intensity of the supersensual passion for beau- 
ty. But it is in the Symposiutn that this poet- 
philosopher follows the passion to its utmost 
reaches, separating the lower, narrower phases, ordering 
and enlightening and universalizing it with reason, till 
love, which in its heart of hearts is love of beauty, 
becomes the spiritual motive which shall wing all human 
yearnings unto that Supreme Good which is Beauty 
Absolute. Eros is the motive leading men on, the prin- 
ciple of human striving; Eros is desire, yearning for that 
which is not had, or yearning for the continued posses* 
sion of that which is ours. Thus it might include alt 
human motives and desires, the causes of all human 
actions. But as these desires are directed by a loftier 
knowledge, bringing a purer spirituality, they attach 
themselves to objects more worthy of attainment. So 
is Eros a desire, a motive of action, a longing for pas- 
sionate enjoyment, h.iving much dross, often bringing 
but questionable advantage. Let knowledge come, and 
winnow out the chaff, that the soul may love only the 
best. This and much more is poetically su^ested by 
the succession of discourses on love in the Symposium, 




CREEK ART AND POETRY, 



25s 



The Sym- 
posium 



Phsedrus begins and praises Love as a mighty god, and 
eldest of the gods. Love naakes men dare for their 
beloved, giving courage to Alcestis, a woman, 
making cowards heroes, and heroes more hero- 
ic. The next speaker, Pausantas, attempts to 
distinguish. We should not praise Love thus unquali- 
fiedly, for there arc two Loves, the heavenly and the 
common. The common Love has no discrimination, 
desires only to gain an end, careless of gaining nobly, 
and thus works good and evil. But those inspired by 
the higher Love love that which is most intelligent and 
noblest in their beloved, and desire his good. Eryxi- 
machus, the physician, follows, recognizing the separa- 
tion of the two Loves, and seeing this separation between 
healthy and diseased desire extend throughout all nature. 
Then Aristophanes describes the passion of love by a 
humorous myth. The mortal race had originally a differ- 
ent form from the present, — a round body, two faces, 
four arms, and four legs, in every respect the double of 
the present human form. Because of their overweening 
strength and insolence, Zeus cut them in two, so that 
each had but one face, two arms, and two legs; and 
Apollo stitched up their wounds. Ever since then, the 
parted mortal halves desire nothing so much as each 
other, would fain become one again. This desire is love, 
and if each one had his true love again, the race would 
be happy. All praise then to that god. Love, who leads 
us back to our own nature, giving us to hope that, if 
pious, he will restore us to our original state and bless us. 

The poet Agathon then gives his inspired encomium. 
Love is the fairest, best, and most blessed of the gods, 
ever young and tender, nestling in the souls of men. 
He can neither do nor suffer wrong from god or man ; 
for, if he suffers, he suffers not by force, nor does he act 
by force ; for all men serve him freely. Then he is tem- 
perate; for temperance is the ruler of pleasure and desire, 
and no pleasure masters Love. As to courage, has he 



256 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



not conquered the God of War; so, conquering the brav- 
est, he must himself be the bravest. He is also most 
excellent in wisdom ; for he is a poet, being the source 
of poetry in others. He is skilled in all art; only those 
artists whom love inspires have the light of fame. Medi- 
cine, archery, and divination were discovered by ApoUo 
guided by Love and Desire, and to Love arc due the 
Muses' melody, Athene's weaving, Zeus's empire over 
gods and men. Love orders the empire of the gods, the 
love of beauty, for there is no love of deformity. Before ^ 
then the gods did dreadful deeds under the rule of Neces- 
sity. Since the birth of Love, and from love of the 
beautiful, has sprung every good in heaven and earth. 
He fills men with affection ; makes them to meet at 
feasts, sacrifices, and dances, giving kindness and friend- 
ship, banishing enmity, the joy of the good, the admira- 
tion of the wise, the wonder of the gods, desired by 
those who have no part in him, and precious to those ■ 
who have the better part in him ; parent of delicacy, lux- 
ury, desire, fondness, softness, grace; regardful of the 
good, regardless of the evil; in every word, work, wish, 
fear, — pilot, comrade, helper, savior; glory of gods and 
men, leader best and brightest. 

When Agathon ceased, there was no praise to add; 
his poet's vision saw the entire realm of love in its spirit- 
uality, its universality, in its beauty. He felt Love the 
Inspircr to be love of the beautiful. But Socrates must 
scrutinize all this before setting on it the seal of philoso- 
phy. He first perplexes Agathon with a little sophistr>'. 
Love cannot be beautiful and good, for Love is a desire 
of the good, and nothing desires what it has,' Yet Love 
is not foul, because not fair, but a mean between the two, 
just as right opinion, which is incapable of giving a rea- 
son, is a mean between knowledge and ignorance. Love 
is a great spirit {Sai^tmv), intermediate between the 

' Socntes, in ^nenil accord with his Plftlonic chanctnisttcs, f^TS hii 
view of love io the form of a discoorse b^ the wise womaD, Diotiiiuu 



CftEEK ART AND POETRY. 



257 



mortal and the divine. He is the interpreter between 
gods and men, and the go-bctwccn, for God mingles not 
with men. His father was Plenty, the son of Discre- 
tion; his mother Poverty. And partly because he is nat- 
urally a lover of beauty, and partly because he was bom 
on Aphrodite's birthday, he is her attendant. His for- 
tunes follow his parentage; he is poor, hard-featured; 
homeless he lies on the earth, always in want. Also, like 
his father, he is forever plotting against the fair and 
good; bold, enteq>rising, strong, a hunter of men, weav- 
ing intrigues, full of resources, a pursuer of wisdom, a 
philosopher. No god is a philosopher or seeker after 
wisdom, for he is wise already; nor do the ignorant seek 
wisdom, for they do not know their want of it. But 
those who, like Love, are a mean between the two, are 
philosophers or seekers of wisdom. For wisdom is a most 
beautiful thing, and Love is of the beautiful ; therefore is 
Love also a philosopher, or lover of wisdom, and so a 
mean between the wise and the ignorant. 

Love, then, is love of the beautiful or the good, desire 
to possess it in order that the lover may be happy 
(evSaifioyT^), which is a final end. All men desire their 
happiness, yet not all arc called lovers, just as all makers 
are not called poets, but only those concerned with 
music and metre. Desire of good and happiness is but 
love great and subtle; and lovers love the good, the 
everlasting possession of it; this is love. 

Love is birth in beauty, birth of body or of soul. 
Beauty is the destiny presiding at birth. Love is not 
love of the beautiful only, but of generation and birth in 
beauty. For generation to the mortal is a kind of immor- 
tality; and so Love is love of immortality. All beasts 
will die for their offspring, which is their immortal part. 
So are men most strongly moved by a love of an immor- 
tality of fame. They whose bodies only are creative beget 
children to preserve their memory. But creative souls 
bear wisdom and virtue. Such creators are the poets 

yoi_ I.— i^ 



asff 



ANCIE^rr WEALS, 



and all true artists. What man, thinking of Homer anJ 
Hestod, would not rather have their children than human 
ones, or would not rather have such children as Lycurgus 
or Solon left behind them? Such men have been parents 
of virtue, and temples have been raised in their honor 
because of thctr children, such as were never raised in 
honor of any one for the sake of human children. 

These are the lesser mysteries of Love. He who would 
proceed aright in the quest of the more deeply hidden, 
must in his youth visit beautiful bodily forms {<5<jo^UKXct\ 
and first love one such form only, out of which to create 
beautiful thoughts. He will soon perceive that the 
beauty of one form is akin to the beauty of another, and 
then that beauty of form is everywhere one and the 
same, whereupon he will cease to love any single form 
excessively, and become a lover of all beautiful forms. 
In the next stage, he will perceive a more honorable 
beauty in souls than in outward form, so that if a beauti- 
ful soul have but little comeliness, he will be content to 
love and tend her, and bring forth thoughts which will 
make youths better, until he is brought to see beauty in 
institutions and taws, and to know that the beauty of 
them all is of one kin, and that bodily beauty is a trifle; 
and after this he will seek till he see beauty in the scicn- 
ces, not like a slave in love with the beauty of any one 
youth or man or institution, but, nearing and beholding 
the broad sea of beauty, he will create many noble 
thoughts in bounteous love of wisdom; and there will he 
gre»ten till he sec some single science, which is the sci- 
ence of beauty. Let us consider it. He who has learned 
to see things beautiful in due order, when he comes to 
the goal will suddenly sec a nature of wondrous beauty, 
which is everlasting, neither becoming nor perishing, nor 
waxing nor waning, not fair in one respect and foul in 
another, nor at one time or in one relation or at one place 
fair, then again foul, nor fair to some and foul to others: 
neither fair in the likeness of a face or hands or any part of 



GREEK ART AND POETRY, 



259 



the body, neither any form of speech or knowledge, or 
existing in another being, as in an animal, or in earth or 
heaven ; but beauty, simple, absolute, and eternal, in which 
all perishing beauties share, itself becoming neither more 
nor less, nor suffering {naax^i^) thereby. When any one, 
through true love, rising above perishing beauties, begins 
to see that beauty, he is not far from the goal. And this 
it is to go, or by another to be led, aright to the things of 
love, to use the lower beauties as steps to mount on for 
the sake of that other beauty, going from one to two, and 
from two to all fair forms, and from fair forms to fair 
practices, and from fair practices to fair knowledges, and 
from these knowledges attaining to the knowledge which 
is of beauty absolute, in which communion he shall bring 
forth and nourish, not images of virtue, but real virtues, 
and become dear to God, and be immortal if mortal may. 
In the attainment of this, no man shall find a higher 
helper than Love.' 

Such is the Platonic Socrates' discourse on love and 
beauty. Love is the impulse; beauty is the motive; the 
complete activity is love of the beautiful.* Speaking 
more closely, Plato's conception of beauty may be thus 
outlined. Measure and symmetry everywhere pass into 
beauty and virtue.' Plato, like other Greeks, was repelled 
by the unformed or unlimited. Without measure, there 
is no proportion, no beauty, no justice, no good.* Great 
and small exist not only in relation to each other, but also 
in relation to the ideal standard or mean. All arts are on 
the watch against excess or defect as real evils, and the 

' A/ter Socrates ceased, Alcibiadcs, mshing in, drunken, gives in a 
wonderful picture of Socrates himself an aitijitic in&tance of s[iiritual love 
■ad beauty, which in the abstract .Socrates has been describing. Theobove 
condensatioa owes some obli^ttons to Professor Jowctt's translation. 

' Perhaps we may Me what Plato means in sajring that the beautiful is 
difficult {X'^tXt-Ko. xh KoXdj a proverb], Rr/., 435 c ; 2nd that the many 
cannot be philosophers because ttnable to undentaod absolute bcKity.—R^. , 

* PkiUbus. 64 e. 

* Crit0, 48 c \ Rep., 506 a. Thero is proportioa in initli, Rep., 486 d. 



36o 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



beauty of every work of art is due to the observance of 
measure.' The very existence of art depends on there 
being a mean or standard of measure.' Again, says 
Plato: " Everything that is good is fair, and the fair is 
not without measure, and the animal who is fair may be 
deemed to have measure. Now we perceive little sym- 
metries and comprehend them, but for the lordliest and 
greatest we have no understanding; for, as regards health 
and disease, virtue and vice, there is no symmetry or 
want of symmetry greater than that of the soul to the 
body. When a weaker or lesser frame carries a great and 
mighty soul, or when the reverse occurs, then the whole 
animal is not fair, for it is unsymmetrical; but the very 
opposite will be the fairest and loveliest of ail sights to 
him who is able to see." ' 

Beauty is no one thing; it lies not in the possession of 

one quality, but of many. It is not merely " the mean," 

not merely measure, proportion, or fitness. 

Element! of ^Jeither is it merely adaptation to a purpose — 

the Greek yjX\X\\y. On the other hand, a beautiful thing 

Conception 

of BcADty. "*^*^d not possess all qualities, only it must lack 

nothing, which means that it must have all 

essential to itself. Beauty is perfection, perfection in 

good things which make for life. Whatever is entirely 

excellent is beautiful, provided it have no vile associa* 

' Statftman, 3S4 a. 

■ Statesman, 384 d. 

> Tiimxus, 87 c. Socrates had foand the good {aycAov) as well u the 
beautiful («rtA Jf) to be relative to some object. The two with him were 
much the same, and both comprehended in the useful {to evxPV^Tor). 
Fitness for some use was the main element of the Socratic conL^ption of 
beiuty, at least as defined in the J//w<»ra^j7i*jy see X en., Afem., iii, Tiii.aod 
tv. vi. Plato certainly saw the Good in all beauty and did not distingntlh 
between the two. Rather, he My&. that acting well (ev) and beautifully 
{KaAc3$) and jastlj {StHttioai) Ls the same. — Cri/o, 4S c. AristoCle. a> he 
separated virtue from knowledge! so he did not identify the good and the 
beautiful. Vet, although drawing distinctions, Aiixtode recognizes thai 
the same qualities which make a thing good make it beautiful ; beauty he> 
in the mean, in avoidance uf extremes — in moderate and mesinred niagB* 
lude and in order. — Pottit^, vii, 4. 



GX££A' ART AND POETRY. 



26t 



'tion, no association with matters essentially deficient, 
base, evil, deadly. At the very least, the preponderance 
of association must be with life and things noble. A sur- 
geon's knife may be finely formed, and of use in removing 

^ tumors, and so related to healing, yet has such intimate 
sociation with hurtful things that it cannot be beautiful. 

'But a sword means valor, freedom, and defence of right, 

^and though it may also deal wounds and death, such 
ieath may make for life, may be beautiful, since there 

"are matters worth dying for. 

Beauty abstains from everything impertinent. A beau- 
tiful object must have only what is germane, what is 
organic, what makes for the perfection of it as a whole. 
Everything beyond is superfluity, which means detrac- 
tion, robbery of interest from the object itself, dishonor- 
ing that object by filching attention to things intrusive. 

And how can beauty be except it be itself ? How can 
a beautiful thing be something else ? If it pretend to 
be what it is not, what becomes of its essential nature, of 
its measure, its proportion, its utility, its fitness ? A thing 
is never fit for what it pretends to be and is not. Pre- 
tence can never be beautiful. Quite different is the 
pleasure Aristotle finds in likeness wrought through 
works of art or poetry, epic and dramatic, which is not 
pretence. The statue docs not pretend to be a living 
being, but a representation of one. The epic is but a 
vivid description, the drama but a living representation. 
None of them is pretence at being other than it is. A 
statue becomes pretence when made of wood so painted 
that it pretends to be marble, which is different from col- 
oring the marble or wood so as the better to represent 
clothing or flesh, wherein also there was no pretence. So 
an epic poem or a drama becomes pretence when imper- 
tinent embellishments are foisted into it. 

The conception of Hoaptog also entered into the Greek 
thought of beauty. This meant order and also orna- 
ment, and was finally applied by the Pythagoreans to the 



262 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



grand order, the universe, as opposed to the chaos out of 
which it came. The xoffftcs, says Plato, meaning the 
universe, is more beautiful than anything in it.* Another 
element of beauty was harmony, which was almost beyond 
order; it was a rhythmic, beautiful order. 'Ap^torta origi- 
nally signified joining or fastening, putting well and 
securely together. Afterwards it was applied to musical 
matters, first by the Pythagoreans, who spoke of the 
celestial harmony of the spheres, and called the soul a 
harmony.' Heraclitus gives the word deep meaning: 
ffvyreXel ajtavra 6 ffeog rcpos apitoviav Tcav oXcaVf' 
God orders all for the harmony — the proper subordinated 
and ordered welfare — of the whole. But the lightest, 
finest element of beauty was x^P^^t grace, charm. This 
means ease, the absence of strain and over-exertion. A 
beautiful object which possesses grace is not only beauti- 
ful, but is so easily, pleasurabty to itself and all beholders. 
Similar is the indefinable grace of style of Plato or Lysi- 
as, a charm consisting in the perfect facility with which 
they express themselves aright. This is .fcrprs' in writing, 
like the grace of a marble Hermes. 

Beauty inheres in the beautiful object;" it is not a 
matter of surrounding or of incident. That an object or 
a human being is placed in an interesting situation does 
not give it beauty. The beautiful object is and can be 
such only in itself. Circumstances cannot give beauty; 
they may form the matter of beautiful conduct, yet even 
then the beauty consists intrinsically in the knowledge, 
virtue, or will of the actor. The highest Greek thought 
always expresses clearly some ideal of human life, human 
being and its intrinsic qualities, as distinct from incident 
and accompaniment. The best Greek would know or be, 
rather than possess or be surrounded by. ** Knowledge, 

' The Timtrus. 

* Rittcr «nd rrcllcr, Histeria Phihsephia, 68 B snd 71. 

* Heraclitus. Frag., 61 ; Rttter »nd Preller, f/ht. Phil.. 37. 

* Bjr the term " object " ta to be understood something forraing a wbolt 
in it»elf, not something which is merely part of a whole, like a stone in a 
brnlding. 



CREEK ART AJfD FOE TRY. 



263 



rather than the realms of the Great King!" exclaims 
Democritus. And the true art and literature of Greece 
set above all else the goodness, the beauty, the perfect 
faculty, the perfect being, of the man himself. 

This delineation of pure life, this seeing the supreme 
interest in the object itself, and not in its incidents or 
situation, was inseverable from the endeavor of Greek art 
and poetry to realize the perfect, an endeavor which 
will often best advance itself by excluding the peculiar. 
Peculiarity' is usually aberration, its exclusion a first step 
toward perfection. In this way Polyclitus deduced the 
canon of the human form, shown in his Doryphorus. 
This canon held the normal human form, seeking a closer 
adherence to nature's truth than she herself attains. Art 
like that of Polyclitus is the reverse of realism; yet it 
seeks mainly physical perfection; it does not seek to 
emphasize the body's loftier qualities, which express 
man's intellectual nature. On the other hand, while the 
works of Phidias or Sophocles preserve fidelity to normal 
humanity, they present its higher qualities most promi* 
nently. Both Sophocles and Phidias, respectively follow- 
ing the modes of dramatic poetry and plastic art, sought 
the normal, the perfect, sought to exclude imperfection ; 
but in their art all else was subservient to intellectual 
import and that physical perfection which is appropriate 
thereto. They sought perfection in intellectual and 
spiritual qualities appropriate to man and unshared by 
brutes. 

Thus Greek art attains the universal by seeking the 
complete excellence of life. The normal is the typical ; 
the higher the type, the more it tends to con- 
stitute a universal ideal. Phidian sculpture*^* ^."'''f" 
embodies elemental life, pure life in enduring concrete, 
traits, then normal life, which is beauty 
through the exclusion of the peculiar, the imperfect, the 
grotesque ; ' nor does it attempt to express subtle 

* Sic (Beauty) muss unbexeichaend win.— Wmckelmami, Werkt^ vol. tU, 
p. 76. 



364 



^ANCIENT IDEALS, 



thoughts or particular sentiments arising from some 
special circumstance. Likewise the great Greek dramas 
admit no sentiment lacking in universality, because 
dependent on trivial or narrow circumstances; no senti- 
ment to which the common heart of man would not 
respond. From this broad base, the art of Phidias and 
the great dramatists rises to the Ideal by making all 
things animal yield prominence to what is noble and dis- 
tinctly human, thus setting forth what it were universally 
well that men and women should become. 

These creations, notwithstanding the universality of 
the qualities which they embodied, were not vague 
types, but complete and distinct personalities. A dra- 
matic poet fuses universal elements of human lot and 
human nature into individual personality in many ways. 
Abstract human qualities become constituent traits of an 
individual when united, as it were, in single definite rela- 
tionship to an environment of actual life. Personality is 
constituted of a sum of human traits existing in identity 
of relationship to all else in the universe, and made into 
a living unity through the inscrutable enfolding action of 
a single will. Again inscrutably, this personality has 
passions and desires. The individual's thoughts may be 
abstract, impersonal, hardly connected with himself. Not 
so with passion and desire, which are intimate and per- 
sonal desidcrative elements of the individual personality. 
They always immediately and distinctly imply that where- 
in they are rooted, from which they proceed, an indi- 
vidual. Emotionalized with desire, the individual's 
thoughts cease to be impersonal; become his sentiments, 
part of his spirit. The personages of a drama may be 
constituted of universal human quality. The poet makes 
their personalities clear through placing them in definite 
situations respecting other men and dcBnite facts, and 
then setting forth the reciprocal action of their character 
and surroundings, thereby causing each man to dispk 
himself in doing and suffering. K supreme dramat 
artist will effect this without impairing the elemental 



CREEK ART AND POETRY, 



265 



universality of his creations. They will be typical and 
yet individual, as are the personages of the great Greek 
dramas. 

Sculpture is less suited than the drama to setting forth 
action and situation, or expressing vivid passion. When 
seeking that perfection which is beauty, sculpture may 
achieve definite personality by a distinctive combination 
of human qualities in marble forms, which may be placed 
indeed in definite situations, and given such action as 
will render their qualities clear without detracting from 
their universality by the impairments of specialization. 
In a statue of Athene, Phidias combines and shows in 
their perfection those qualities which were hers, her power, 
her intellect and spirit, and her maidenhood. Similarly 
Hermes or Ares had their attributes, which should be 
grandly shown in their statues. Each statue would 
present a distinct personality because embodying different 
qualities, a distinctness wliich would not be impaired by 
the perfectness of all the qualities entering each statue. 
Creations of ideal art are not vague when they embody 
truthfully principles of form and being deducible from 
actual life ; which is to say, so long as art works along 
the lines of nature's truth, and does not seek impossible 
combinations of inconsistent qualities. The greatest 
Greek artists and poets conceived the perfect in clearly 
outlined form, completely visualized it in their souls, saw 
it. It was not vague to them, but natural and real. 
Their creations correspond, and possess that highest 
artistic individuality arising from the original and imagi- 
native, completed and harmonious combination of great 
and universal qualities into perfect unities of human form 
and character. The great Greek artist beheld his crea- 
tions as they could not but be, as he could not but see 
them, — clearly, definitely, completely, inevitably. The 
creations of his vision took their forms according to their 
qualities. The artist did not proceed in the reverse way, 
tr>'ing to fashion form, with nothing in it. 

Many-rcalmcd and irresistible was the Greek imagina- 



266 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



tion. The Greek mind tended always to visualize its 
thoughts, and behold its most spiritual conceptions in 
the guise of form. The spiritual is not conceived by the ■ 
archaic thought of any race. But the Greek habit of re- 
garding the spiritual as form, remained after spiritual 
conceptions were purified from material elements. This ■ 
tendency was cognate with the Greek dislike of the in- 
definite, unlimited, unformed, which carried the idea of _ 
unrestraint,— as from chaos had sprung the impious mon- fl 
strosities who fought against the gods. So this tendency 
appeared wherever ethical considerations entered, and 
made the Greeks conceive the virtues as in some way 
contained in form. Plato's theory of ideas is an example 
of the Greek way of visualizing thought, before subject- 
' ing it to rational analysis. A Greek saw before he 
reasoned ; and in the end reasoned more clearly through 
the vivid perception of what he reasoned about. 

One need but cast these thoughts into closer form to 
obtain what shall be a definition of art from the point ol 
view of the loftiest Greek endeavor and attain- 
Definition ment. Art (7 W^*''?), says Aristotle, is a way of 
of Art from j^aking (or creating) according to the reason. 
Stand- ^^ rationale of truth, i. f., of actual fact.' 
points. Substantially following this remark, it may be 
said that fine art — broadly speaking, sculpture* 
painting, poetry, and music — is creation in accordance 
with nature's general truths, those general principles and 
types which the mind forms in comparing, combining, 
selecting from, and excluding objects presented to the 
sense. A true work of art, be it a statue, a painting, or 
a drama, embodies or sets forth in concrete combination 
principles of general truth and validity more truly than 
can any actual facts or objects, which always present 
peculiarities or aberrations. 

The Greeks had no distinct conception of that faculty 
with which they were pre-eminently gifted — imagination; 
'^£i( fitxd Xoyov aXtf6ovi xoo^rua^, .A^iVA., EiMUs, n, 4, 



I 
I 



% 



GREEK ART A^TD POETRY, 



^ 



which is the faculty of the mind that combines * and 
brings to form universals. Imagination creates a concrete 
embodiment for the general types and classes of facts, be 
they facts of simple bodily existence or facts of action or 
conduct. Thus it is the faculty which, working diversely 
according to the nature of the art — sculpture, painting, 
or poetry, — embodies general truths of human being in 
the great personality of a gold and ivory Zeus, or general 
laws of human conduct and its consequences in a drama 
or an epic, or, as it were, imagination's finest function, 
brings to lyric form the subtle moods of men. In fine, 
imagination is the artistic faculty, which embodies the 
type in the individual, the general in the concrete, and 
makes the universal real. The artist's function is not 
only truly to conceive the general principles and types, 
but also to combine and present them in concrete in- 
stances.' And art may be defined as the expression of 
the typical, the general, the universally significant, in the 
form of the concrete or individual. 

Whatever does not come within the tenor of this defi- 
nition is not, and never has been, recognized as art, — as 
art creative. For example, in the portrayal of an actu- 
ally living man, if the sculptor or painter endeavor merely 
to copy what he sees in the face at any given time, his 
best result can be but a mere photograph of a passing 
facial phase. The true portrait -artist generalizes from 
out the multitude of fleeting expressions the subject's 
veritable being,and expresses that in the portrait.' Even 
here, though within narrow limits, is call for generaliza- 



V 



' It is oaly in combinatiaD thftt univeni&L& can be rendered concrete ; no 
hamsn being can consist uf bat one qtulitj ; no life can consist of but one 
type of fact. 

■ The artist, of course, is not alwayi conscloai of thii process. He, (n 
common with other men, or, in a grraler degree, as. he may be prc-etninenLly 
gifted, holds in his mind a mass of general truths. Hts imi^natiun sets 
them in concrete instances : and bis tbougfat may come as a flash or in the 
gnise of feeling. 

' Cf. Aristotle, Ptetiu, »v, xi. 



26S 



AfrCiENT IDEALS, 



tion and imagination, is scope for art. Again, passing 
from sculpture and painting to literature, that will not be 
art which docs not embody general truths in modes of the 
concrete. Mere narrative of actual fact, physical or mcn< 
tal, while it may be history or science, is not art ; * nor is 
the mere statement of general truths, though that may 
make a didactic or philosophic discourse. The general 
truths must be combined and embodied in concrete real- 
ity, in the form, for instance, of some story of human con- 
duct and its consequences; that will then be art, and true 
art if the general principles be true and brought to fitting 
expression. The sister arts arc distinguished from each 
other through the means used by each, sculpture making 
use of stone and bronze, painting making use of canvas 
and color, poetry making use of melodious diction, and 
music making use of sound. Further, the means used by 
each art bring special limitations as well as facilities, and 
in a general way assign to each its own province and 
make it there supreme. But though the means used dis* 
tinguish one art from another, means cannot make art 
art, and though a sculptor cannot express himself with- 
out stone and chisel, nor a poet except through melodious 
diction, there is much carving which is not art, and verse 
which is not poetry. 



Architecture differs from sculpture, painting, and 
poetry in that primarily it is not art, but handicraft hav- 
ing an immediately useful end in view. A 
^^*" a' P"*** building's general form, resulting from 

diitecture! ^'^ P'^" *"*^ *^^ mode in which the architec- 
tural elements are conformed thereto, wif 
reflect the genius of the race or time, and may impress 
the beholder and affect his mood. This is true of a Greek 
temple or a Gothic cathedral. But in itself const ructiotu 
architectural form, cannot speak to men definitely; can- 
not, as a poem or a group of sculpture, present the clear 
* Cf. ArisloUe, Potties, ii. 



CREEK ART AND POETRY. 



269 



embodiment of definite principles of human life.' This 
may be artisticaliy accomplished only through the build- 
ing's sculptural and pictorial adornments. The architec- 
tural excellence, the structural beauty, of a building 
intended for some noble purpose, will largely depend on 
the building's general fitness for that purpose, which is to 
be made artistically apparent In such of the building's 
sculptures and paintings as present definite imaginative 
expression of its builders' knowledge and views of life. 
Thus, as completed in adornments which set forth its pur- 
pose in artistic illustration and commentary, a great build- 
ing like the Parthenon or the Rhcims cathedral, may 
rightly tell the furthest truths reached by the time; and 
in its fittingness to form the setting of the story, as well 
as serve what other ends It is intended for, it may par- 
take of such noble beauty as cannot belong to any palace 
ministering to private luxury. 

But buildings may possess germane structural beauty, 
as did Greek temples, even irrespective of their sculpture 
and colored decoration. Architecturally regarded, the 
palpable characteristics of a Greek temple were order, 
symmetry, and then proportion. The last consisted in 
preserving such relations of size and number throughout 
the building's parts as should constitute it an organic 
whole, to which nothing might be added without impair- 
ment. The more important sculptural adornments occu- 
pied certain definite spaces, the pediment, the metopes, 
the frieze. Each figure naturally conformed to the limits 
of its allotted position ; the predominant lines of the sculp- 
tured groups harmonized formally with the architectural 
lines defining the spaces occupied by them; and spiritu- 
ally each group was complete, accomplishing its theme 
within the space it filled. Apparently the Greeks did not 
extend their care for order to the relative situation of 
a number of buildings. No order can be seen in the 

' Accordinsly Aristotle does not place architecture among the fine arts ; 
it was not " imitative," scc/hv/. 



270 



ANClElfT IDEALS. 



arrangement of the buildings on the Acropolis of Athens. 
A temple was erected on a sacred spot ; to erect it else- 
where would be to ignore its purpose; doubtless follow- 
ing some tradition the Parthenon was erected where it is, 
and the Ercchthcum where it is; neither site was chosen 
with reference to the other, or to anything save the 
sacrcdness of the site itself. But there results no lessen- 
ing of the beauty of the temples, for that was intrinsic, 
independent of surroundings. A temple was so complete 
and perfect in itself that its situation relative to other 
buildings could not impair its beauty. 

Greek temples were truthful. There was no pretence 
in the material used, there was no deceptive covering of 
joints. Probably the Greeks did not conceive this prin- 
ciple consciously as an artistic canon; rather their instinct 
for real excellence, not the make-belief thereof, bound 
them to truth in construction, and they felt no tempta- 
tion to conceal and deceive in their architecture. Yet 
Greek artistic love of truth came to conscious expression 
in certain architectural forms suggesting the designer's 
intent that a thing should not only show what it is. but 
through its appearance suggest its function. For exam- 
ple, the function of a column, to uphold, is emphasized 
by flutings, which indicate the direction of the support 
the column gives; and much of the impressivencss of the 
Doric temple lies in the massive columns suggesting by 
their slight swell (entasis) and spreading echinus the 
weight of the superstructure they uphold so firmly. 
Thus the column got organic beauty, befitting itself and 
in structural harmony with the rest of the building. The 
entasis, moreover, by preventing stiffness and all idea of 
strain, imparted grace, suggesting that the column per* 
formed its function easily; and the echinus, in conjunc- 
tion with the square plinth of the capital, formed an 
agreeable transition from the round form and upright 
lines of the column to the square and horizontal archi- 
trave; all of which imparted beauty strictly structural 
and organic. 



CREEK ART Ai\'D FQETRY. 



271 



The architectural knowledge of Greek builders becomes 
more astonishing the better it is known. There are cer- 
tain discrepancies between sight alone and the testimony 
of careful measurement in rc^^ard to the lines and propor- 
tions of large buildings. Lines really straight may appear 
to sag, columns really upright appear to be pressed out- 
ward. The purpose of a temple is to be viewed, not 
measured ; and in its construction allowance must be made 
for the illusions of the eye. Consequently the lines of 
the Parthenon's architrave and stylobate curve upwards 
slightly, and no column is exactly upright, but the lines 
are drawn and every column is so erected that to the eye 
all may be perfect. 

But the Parthenon discloses subtler motives for the 
avoidance of an absolute regularity never found in living 
objects and suggestive of stiffness and lack of animation. 
With all its order and strict outline, the Parthenon makes 
no such impression, which seems to have been avoided by 
the use of slight curves throughout, instead of perfectly 
straight lines, and by refraining from absolute equality 
between co-ordinate parts. The intercolumnar spaces 
vary, so does the height of the columns, the breadth of 
the plinths, of the triglyphs, and of the metopes. These 
deviations are too slight to be perceived by the eye, but 
their result is beheld in a quality of life imparted to the 
whole structure. And before the builders left a temple, 
it received a marvellous and loving finish, whereby was 
shown solicitude for utmost perfection in the construction 
of such buildings as should stand for Greek reverence for 
what the Greeks revered. 

Fragmentary as is the record which lies in the remains 
of early Greek sculpture and decoration, it illustrates 
Greek intelligence and faculty. Greece gar- 
nered much from older civilizations, nor hesi- *'"'** ^*"'* 
tatcd to make use of all suggestions. In art" J^^^^t 
she used foreign models, gradually transforming Sculpture, 
whatever she adopted. And the early history 
of Greek art presents the interesting spectacle of Greek 



273 



a^^^tiBeals, 



genius not once, but twice, conquering its foreign lessons. 
First, the victory is almost reached by Myccna:an art. thCi 
art of a people itself as yet hardly Greek. Thereafter 1 
came the age of Dorian invasion, when European Greece 
fell back in civilization. Her art had to begin again. 
Once more she makes use of foreign models and in- 
struction, and, transforming all she takes, she again 
and more completely brings out her art victoriously 
Hellenic' 

Thus the Greek intelligence adopts what is needed, and 
with discrimination fashions it anew, continuously progres- 
sive. It is, however, the Greek sculpture in the round of 
the seventh and sixth centuries that most strikingly shows 
the definite intelligent progressiveneiw of the Greek artis- 
tic genius; even such a progrcssiveness as the ancient 
world before Greece cannot show. Egyptian sculpture 
of the Old Empire had many excellences, which were 
certainly not reached in a night; rather were they the 
growth of untold centuries, as to which wc are ignorant. 
But after that time, Egyptian sculpture shows conven- 
tionalizing rather than progress, a hardening to a few 
definite forms. Likewise the earliest examples of Meso- 
potamian sculpture imply a previous progress to such 
excellence of workmanship as they display. But there- 
after no marked and vital progress is apparent.' Much 
fuller is the record of Assyrian sculpture; but it also 
shows slight progress. 

Early examples of Greek sculpture in the round come 
from the Cyclades and Asia Minor, as well as from the 
mainland of European Greece; and crude is their art. 
They are not earlier than the seventh centurj'. But the 
comparatively few large pieces which remain show unmis- 
takably how each successive decade intelligently improves 
upon the conception and performance of its predecessor. 

' Here the illustratiotis aie mainly in decorative and relief work. Sec M. 
CoUijnon, HhUire dt la Seulfitttre Grfffiu, toI. I, li«T« 1. dL Ui waA l»; 
ud H. Brunn, Gri^-JkistAi A'tinj/^sfAicJkle, Bach i, Gap. iii. 

' To be »ar« the record ii most KOBty. 



GREEK ART AND POETRY, 



273 



Each later statue seems to lay some archaism aside, some 
imperfection, some element of failure to represent man 
truly.' Two centuries of advance along the way of intel- 
ligent and artistic discrimination and improvement, and 
Phidias will appear. After the supreme achievement of 
the great masters of the fifth century, Greek sculpture 
makes no further catholic advance, and in the succeeding 
still great times of Scopas and Praxiteles begins to indi- 
cate the modes in which it will decline. But the modes, 
through which it was to decline from Phidian greatness, 
are themselves for a while modes of special advance in the 
subtler delineation of human characteristic and emotion. 
Even in its decay, within its lowering scope, Greek 
genius is still fertile and partially progressive.' 

The beauty which the Greek sought in sculpture — like 
that in architecture — was the beauty of intrinsic, essential 

beincr, the beauty of pure and gracious life:' 

J il *u \" 1 if The Bejmty 

and happy were the Greeks, happy are we Soueht. 

through them, that sculpture is the art of arts 
to express this. Its capabilities and limitations coincide 
with the delineation of essential life. It is unfit to 
express such interest as may arise from situation or acci- 
dent; quite unsuited to the trivialities of ^i'wn* and cir- 
cumstance. Nor will it express life's perplexities; the 
action must be simple, with its interest definitely cen- 
tred, undispersed in detail. Nor can the sculptor turn 
this way and that, under conflicting motives. In great 
sculpture one motive must overwhelmingly predominate. 
The highest ideals of Greek sculpture were undisturbed 
by considerations beyond the plastic delineation of noble 

' Sec ag&in this story of early Greek sculpture, so far as we know it, 
laddly told in CoUignon's Ilistoire de la Sculpture Grecque, vol. i, livio ii. 

* Sec fcst, chap. Jti. 

* By "pure" life is meant life in its essential qualities, unaffected by 

transient inddent or special circumstances. Yet it is unlikely that the 

Greeks were conKious of seeking pure life in art ; rather llus was a result 

of their intelligence which looked naturally for what was ciLSCntia] in the 

matter in hand, and was not tempted aside by irrelevant dctait 
VOt, I— iB 



274 



AXC/EN-T IDEALS, 



life. Not a question of trivial detail, of unessential cir- 
cumstance, perplexed the artist's mind centred with the 
intensity of genius on the attainment of one great thing. 
That artist's mind, moreover, was so set on the intrinsic 
qualities of his subject that he cared not even for their 
display in action under the incitement of special circum* 
stances. He would represent the qualities themselves in 
their normal poise. In Phidian art there is no display or 
striving for effect. Its sublimest creations do not act up 
to the full extent of their powers. In the Parthenon 
frieze the gods sit easy and undisturbed, their powers 
quiescent, only indicated by divinity of form and feature. 
Likewise the faces of the youths on horseback are calm 
and controlled^ well within their limits of expression. 
Yet a comparison of these youths with the divinities well 
shows how Greek sculpture at its highest could, without 
sacrifice of individuality, delineate life broadly and typi- 
cally. The forms and features of the divinities are typical 
of their class ; besides their distinguishing traits, each god 
and goddess shows ease, freedom from anxiousncss, sens 
of superiority over mortals, easy fellowship among them- 
selves, leisure and entire repose, perfect serenity, power 
with confidence therein, and immortality; all of these 
being qualities universally attributed to the gods. Very 
different are the youths; they are beautiful, they show 
life's flower; we have never seen such lovely forms 
together. Yet they have no trait of divinity. Thought- 
fulness for the solemn festival broods on each countenance. 
Blessed youths arc they, yet very thoughtful of what they 
are taking part in. And while every divine form in the 
frieze is incarnate deathlessness, there is no youth in all 
the pressing throng over whose bier we might not think 
ourselves shedding hot tears.' 

The living bronzes of Myron, his athletes and his ani- 
mals, almost breathed, so instinct and filled with life were 

' IQiutraUon of lilce differences may be wen by coraparing the J/in 
of the Vattcaa with the Hermet of the Vntican and the Apaih BthtAn^ 



GREEK ART AND POETRY. 



275 



Phidian 
QtuOities. 



they, so living through and through in every limb and 
muscle. But theirs was vital force, not spirituality ; 
neither was there spirituality in the more re- 
poseful and formally harmonious athletes of 
Polyclitus. The sculptures of I'hidias were 
spiritual and ideal. Yet it were mistaken to seek in them 
the expression of subtle thought or emotion. It is life in 
purity and quietude that fills their features; spirituality 
and intellect are there, also in stiU repose, not specially 
directed to the thought of this or that.' Theirs is pure 
existence simple and undirected, unconditioned on cir- 
cumstances or environment ; it represents the equilibrium 
and poise of hfc, which is disturbed when the mind and 
vital forces arc called to action, but toward which they 
tend again, as the sea to calm. Such sculpture represents 
perfect human traits in their normal, enduring mode, thus 
bringing to expression the subject's true personality; for 
all states of action or suffering are transient in proportion 
to their intensity, and are lacking in complete represents- 
tive truth as they depart from the subject's normal poise 
and bring a portion of his attributes into a prominence 
merely accidental. 

The idealism of such art broadened into universality. 
Like tragedy, it freed the beholder's mind from narrow 
thoughts of self and its anxieties; it was an uplifting joy; 
it was an education in beauty and an admonition to 
temperance, reverence, and piety. Great was the ethical 
impressivenessof these sculptured forms; a quality which 
iss\ied from the greatness of personality which they em- 
bodied, this greatness itself arising from the imaginative, 

' It is after oil to he borne in mind that we k&ow nothing of the faces of 
statues which were the work of Phidias himself. We Wnow him ihroogh bis 
in6aence, as in the frieie and pedimentftl groups of the rarthenoD, whether 
he designed any of the extant figures or not. If, however, Furtwsnglcr's 
interesting opinions (^Meisterwerfte der Grieehistkm Plastik, pp. 4, etc.) are 
correct, and we •.till have adose copy of a Phidian work, the Athene Lemaia, 
it will be plain that the counienances of the statues of Phidias were sub* 
limely noble and iatellectuat— idealizing highest mental qualities. 



276 



ANCIENT J DEALS. 



creative union in each statue of elemental qualities of life 
in grand proportions. Quintilian says — and how did a 
Roman know it ? — that the Olympian Zeus of Phidias 
added something to religion, so nearly did the majesty o£ 
the work equal the divinity of the god.' In plastic art 
the act or object represented must be beautiful to the 
mind in order that the visible form may be wholly beau- 
tiful to the eye. Otherwise there will be inconsistency or j 
deficiency. The joy of the eye in the lines of beautiful' 
form will be lessened by a sense of ethical error or hide- 
ousness, by a sense of evil or death. Beauty is perfection 
in good things; Phidian art eternalized in form the per- 
fection of the best, and so reached the sublime. 

Phidian art makes clear that a condition of quiescence is 
best adapted to set forth great personalities in their com- 
pleteness. A topic might, however, require figures in 
action, as that of the Parthenon metopes representing^ 
the conflict between Lapiths and Centaurs. Even here' 
the countenances of the Lapiths, who stood for civilixa- 
tion as they defended sacred right against savage force, 
remain unmoved and beautiful, showing the poise and 
self-control of the defenders of the high cause. Passion 
is permitted only in the faces of the Centaurs; and why 
not ? They had no noble character, to express which 
their features should be held in repose; savagery, passion, 
disproportion, was their nature. And it may be said gen- 
erally, whenever noble Greek sculpture seeks to set forth 
the great achievement of some lofty character — the con- 
quests of Apollo, the victories of Heracles — it represents 
the god or hero quiescent after his accomplishment, indi- 
cating symbolically the accomplished act, and showing 
the powers of the god or hero in the divine or heroic 
form ; the deed is done, the arrows of Apollo have been 
shot, Heracles sits with the apples in his hand. 

Other art of Phidtas's time was less sublime. The 



■ Quint.. ImL Orat., zii, 10, 9. 



GREEK ART AND POETRY. 



277 



Argive Myron moulded athletes whose excellence lay 
mainly in their physique, in their physical strength 
and faculty. If the climax of the existence of such 
beings lay in some feat of strength and dex- 
terity, showing them at their climax would 



The Athlete 
and the God. 



sufficiently express their being and at the same 
time show their achievement. To have shown ZeushurUng 
thunderbolts at giants would have expressed but a small 
part of his enskicd divinity. To have shown Heracles 
struggling with the Nemean lion would not have expressed 
the full personality of that hierarch of toil. But the cul- 
mination of a discus-thrower's being might lie in that 
very discus-whirl which Myron immortalized in bronze; 
and hence Myron is not to be criticised for moulding the 
\^vy act, for therein he omitted no great faculty of his 
subject.' 

The discus-thrower of Myron, considered in connection 
with the repose of Phidias's subltmer creations, suggests 
this principle observed during the best times of Greek art : 
to represent in violent action athletic beings when the act 
was the true subject of the sculpture, or when that act so 
stood for the sum and climax of the subject's personality 
and attainment that to represent him in the act would 
suppress none of his essential q;ualitics.' The decorative 
sculpture of a temple might also represent a god or god- 
dess, or a divine hero, in action, when another statue 
belonging to the same temple set forth the subject's per- 
sonality completely. 

The unity of a statue or painting or group of statues, 

' So in regard to malters intellectual and spiritual, sotae human traits are 
of higher worth in a. personality than others. The one climax of noble 
feeling, which some poor creature once experienced in a moment of high 
enthusiasm, may be the matter best worth recording, though it be the matter 
most transient in his life. 

* One reverts here to Lesstng's well-kDown utterance that a transient act 
sboold not be expressed in sculpture. Manifestly this criticism does not 
comport with many admirable productions of Greek art, not vitb tho 
Laoceon itself, from which he oamed his book. 



378 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



as of a literary composition, results primarily from the 
artist having some matter to express in form 
Udi y aad ^^ words, and possessing a vision and intelli- 
gence clear and single for jV, that is to say, for 
what Ls essential thereto. The peoples of the earth 
before the Greeks had little of this intelligence or artist's 
vision. If the first architect of an Egyptian temple had 
in his mind any design clear and single, it was hardly 
strong within him and was not felt at all by after-builders. 
The result at last is that the temple, one cannot say 
*' when completed," but when its final bulk is reached, 
wanders, lacks unity of conception and proportion, is 
not organic; quite different from Greek temples which 
had all these qualities. Again, Assyrian relief sculpture 
was panoramic, and its purpose was to narrate. Yet its 
story has no proportion, no emphasis of what is impor- 
tant, no subordination of what is unessential.' One 
recalls the sculptural narrative of the overthrow of Teu- 
man, the Elamite king: without the accompanying 
inscription, it would be impossible to distinguisli him in 
the elaborate monotony of the slab. But from ihe begin- 
ning there was unity of composition in Greek design. 
Instance the bronze sword-bladc from Mycenae with its 
inlaid lion hunt.' The peril constitutes the centre of 
interest in the composition, from which the eye of the 
beholder does not wander any more than did the mind 
of the artist while his hand was forming the design. 
, In relief sculpture the Greek artist disliked leaving 
empty space, which partook of the nature of the indefi- 
nite. At first he filled with irrelevant work the space not 
occupied by his main figures." Soon Greek aversion to 
all not germane to the main subject of the composition 

* Far less hu it the sItRhlest element of srtudc creadveness, of tnie aft, 
which meuis the embodimeat ol the uaiveruU. 

• See atttt. chmpter «. 

■ This is »cen in the «croII~work of Mj'cenxan deeontion f«e< ««'/. Ok. »i). 
and Again when Greek art sluts mfresb, is the so-called geometrical style ol 
the very early Dipylon vase. 




GHESr AST AND POETRY. 



379 



began to assert itself, and the artist learned to fill his 
whole space with adjuncts appropriate to the main 
design. 

The matter and technique of archaic sculpture hardly 
admitted the subtler elements of unity, which were 
evoked by the perfected art of the fifth century, — unity 
in mood and tone, constituting a harmony, and implying 
rhythm and symmetry of form and grouping. The sim- 
plest symmetry is mere balance, avoirdupois adjustment, 
the symmetry of inorganic, lifeless objects. Through 
their balance they retain their positions. Disturb it, and 
they fall. Such was the lifeless symmetry of Egyptian 
and archaic Greek statues. In order that an object appear 
alive, it must show capacity for movement and living 
strength to sustain it in various positions. The more fin- 
ished artist avoids positions suggestive of inorganic equi- 
librium: his statues will have the symmetry of life, 
adjustable to any position the living being may assume. 

Similar remarks apply to a group of statues forming a 
single composition. The Greek always made such groups 
symmetrical, but such symmetry might be mere balance or 
the symmetrj' of life. The figures from the pediment of 
the temple of Athene at /Egina illustrate the archaic sym- 
metry of composition, although each figure in itself has 
much of the symmetry of life. The grouping suggests 
such symmetry as might have been needed had the middle 
of the pediment rested on a fulcrum, and so required for 
its balance the same number of figures on each side of 
the centre, with every figure on one side counterpoised by 
a figure on the other, corresponding in size, position, and 
distance from the centre. This is not the symmetry of 
living groups. For instance, in the Parthenon pediments, 
where the symmetry of life is reached, the figures, instead 
of equilibrium, suggest harmony, congruity of thought or 
interest, and as it were a balance of life on the two sides. 

Both the y^ginetan and Parthenon pediments have 
unity of composition, which in the pediment of the 



ato 



ANaBNT IDEAIS, 



iCgina temple is somewhat mechanical. The subject of 
the composition is the fight over the body of a warrior 
fallen at the centre of the pediment. Directly towards 
this point all the figures on both sides aim their ^>car5 
or arrows. The eye of the beholder will not wander, but 
the effect is stiff. One may say, not only that such a 
regular and appointed combat never took place« a remark 
inapplicable to sculpture showing idealistic tendencies, 
but also that any such combat is inconceivable as taking 
place among living combatants, every one of whom is a 
freely moving being, incapable of geometrical regularity 
of action. The artist had not reached the power of ideal- 
izing along the lines of verity, and his result was an Im- 
possibility. Very different is the unity of composition in 
the cast pediment of the Parthenon, the subject of which 
was Athene's bursting into being from the head of Zeus. 
The interest culminates in the centre, where stood the 
three actors, Athene, Zeus, and Hephaestus, who struck 
the blow which freed her. Grouped immediately on 
either side were the heavenly gods, who are wonderstruck 
at the sight of the goddess. But tlie goddess's birth is of 
import to others besides, who are represented or sym- 
bolized in the composition as afar from the birth scene. 
The transition is made by female figures darting forth 
from the centre to announce the great event. Nowhere 
is there mechanical equilibrium, but everywhere diversitT| 
of attitude and grouping; even diversity of interest, fc 
the attention of the distant figures is not yet aroused. 
The supreme unity of the composition is from the spec- 
tator's point of view.' He beholds the event and the 
astonishment of those who saw it; he sees the darting 
messengers, and as his eye passes to the quiet forms 
farthest from the centre, he feels the mighty import of 
Athene's birth for them and all the world. As in all 



' So It is, for insUnce, in RaphMt's Transfyrmratian. The speclator*B 
thought supplies the unity, aod is thereby itself rendered ictive, im^inAlivc, 
CToatlre. 



CREEK ART AND POETRY. 



281 



greatest sculpture, more is suggested than is told, and 
the spectator's feelings are roused to expectancy, rather 
than let flag by the sight of something entirely done and 
past.' 

The greatest Greek statues, the chryselephantine 
works of Phidias, have perished. Coins, ugly statuettes, 
and old descriptions give an idea of them, but 
hardly enable us to judge of their excellence. p-rti,,no„ 
We know, however, that the unanimous es- 
thetic sense of the most artistic race pronounced them 
supreme among works of art. The ruins of the Parthe- 
non and of its sculptured decorations remain. From 
them, or rather from it, for they all form an organic 
whole, may be learned what nobility of motive, fulness 
of thought and life and beauty Greeks could embody in 
a single creation of the combined arts of architecture and 
sculpture.* 

The Parthenon was a temple of the Doric order, yet 
showing traces of the Ionic style, as for example in con- 
taining a continuous frieze within, instead of metopes.' 
Its length was two hundred and twenty-five, its breadth 
one hundred Attic feet, giving the proportion of nine to 
four. Beyond this, there is no certainty as to the mutual 
commcasurability of its different parts. The consummate 
architectural knowledge and skill by which stiffness was 

' Tbe recoii»tniction «nd interpretatioii of the east pediment has been the 
subject of endless discussion. One of the last schemes is offered by Furt- 
winglcT, Afeisfer-wrrie dt* GHtthischcn Plastik, pp. 243, etc. He returns 
to the idea that the Fates vrere really meant for the Fates (Muira). The 
Iris is not Iris, but Hebe fierhaps ; the Theseus is Kephalus, the beautiful 
hunter. Thi« is all hypothesis, of course, and no one knows whom the 
figures reptcscnC. One thing is clear, however, that some of the figures arc 
represented as still ignorant of the event. In the weti pediment of the 
Parthenon the Bgures tend, rather than point, towards the centre. There 
tt diversity ; and the anity is not brou|[ht out mechanically, as in the ./^ina 
pediment. 

' Here again, though it is known that the Parthenon wis colored, it is 
best, for certainty's sake, to be silent over that part of its ornamentation. 

' As in the somewhat older Doric temple of Poseidon at Fsestum. 



282 



AXCIENT 2DEALS, 



avoided and veritable life given it, have been already 
spoken of. As a building it gave the impression of per- 
fect proportion and perfect order and completeness, with 
no superfluity. Then the entire building and every part 
of it possessed grace, — no strain or overloading, but each 
part fulfilling its function with perfect ease, and the whole 
giving the impression of confident and enduring strength. 

The architectural congruity is carried out in the 
manner in which the sculptural decorations harmonize 
throughout in conception and technique. Unity of com- 
position, which has been spoken of with reference to the 
statues of the east pediment, appears in the other sculp- 
tures adapted to different positions and architectural 
requirements. Some of the metopes show traces of the 
archaic struggle with difficulties of material; but for the 
most part each metope is complete in itself, with its prin- 
cipal motives and lines finding a climax and centre withia . 
the sculpture. Beyond this, the metopes on the four 
sides of the building form groups devoted each to a single 
topic. 

A frieze, on account of its shape, is adapted to repre- 
sent a continuous matter. It cannot well have a centre 
towards which the rest tends, or even a centre of 
supreme interest to which all else is accessory. It must 
rather, to vary the threatening monotony of its long line, 
show rising and falling waves of interest, quiet here toJ 
rest the spectator, vivid action there to excite his inter- 
est, and through all a rhythm of movement * and a har- 
mony of composition excluding everything which by 
disproportionate interest or size might detract from what 
precedes and follows. The Parthenon frieze effects this 
rise and fall of interest by the succession of groups tak- 
ing part in the Panathenaic procession which forms it 
subject. We see stately maidens moving quietly, 
horses and their riders, magistrates and on-lookers, till 

> Rhythm ts r^$ kik^/iuS rn^iS, — the compodHoD or ordenng or Uu 
movcmetit. — PUlo, Lawi, 66$ a. 



CREEK ART AND POETRY. 



283 



"bur eye finally rests with the seated gods. No one could 
see the whole frieze at once, but successive portions of it, 
as he walked beneath it. Hence it was fitting that the 
whole frieze should not present the same moment of 
time, but give the idea of a procession making ready, 
starting, and in motion, a plan which readily affords a 
rise and fall of interest. Some of the youths are not yet 
mounted; ahead of them are others on horses starting at 
slow pace, preceded by yet others in rapid gallop. Waves 
of rhythm appear in the rise and fall of the horses* limbs 
and bodies, while their heads, and still more the heads of 
the riders, remain more nearly on a line. This last con- 
formity to the shape of a frieze gives a general tone of 
control and order to the squadron, and excludes all fear 
of the eager horses mastering their riders, — a spirit of 
control indeed comparable to the calm and peace of Soc- 
rates at the end of the P/usdo, which, like a noble domi- 
nant, controls the grief of his disciples. 

All this makes rhythmic movement, while the well- 
nigh rhythmic grouping of the seated gods may be seen 
by following the detail of the pose of each succeeding 
divinity. The frieze extended around the four walls of 
the inner temple, with which circumstance corresponded 
a general division of the procession in four parts, con- 
nected by a figure at each comer indicating by his action 
that he is marshalling the figures following him with ref- 
erence to those ahead, beyond the comer. So the com- 
position led the visitor towards the head of the procession, 
where sat the on-looking gods. Light reached the frieze 
from below rather than from above, and from below the 
spectator viewed it. Towards the bottom the figures 
were carved in lower relief, that they might not shade the 
upper portions. The height of the frieze was near three 
feet, its length near five hundred; yet was every group 
and figure in it so suited to the requirements of these 
dimensions and to all that came before and followed, as 
to oflfer no unpleasant suggestion of being carved to fit 



284 



cr^yr IDEALS. 



Likewise each group sculptured in the metopes adequately 
occupied its circumscribed area. But perhaps the highest 
art in constructing figures to meet architectural require- 
ments was in the groups which fill the triangular pedi- 
ments so naturally and gracefully that one would not 
think to sue them change their positions even if the slop- 
ing gables of the roof were lifted. 

Such was the external or structural perfection of the 
sculptures of the Parthenon, which was shown in the 
composition of each group and its suitability to its posi- 
tion. Further, each figure shows breadth of treatment, 
avoidance of small line and belittling detail, and general 
nobility of execution. Each figure shows the grandeur 
of Greek ideal sculpture, no peculiarity or shortcoming of 
form, but everywhere the combination of great and uni- 
versal traits in noble personalities. And beyond this, 
there was breadth of general conception. Some of the 
sculptures have as subjects myths and matters of supreme 
local interest, but there is no narrow treatment; rather, 
everything stands forth in its significance, not for Athens 
alone, but for all mankind. 

These formal unities and perfections were but material 
means to the supreme motive and thought, the glory of 
Athene and her chosen people. The Attic conception 
of Athene gave the inspiration. She was the goddess of 
the land, the giver of the olive, the bestower of handi- 
craft, the inspircr of polity, the helper in all achieve- 
ment; ' and, above all, it was she who represented and 
embodied in divine personaHty the virtues of the race, its 
energy, its toil, its wsdom, its self-control, and finer spir- 
itual discernments. The Parthenon was to symbolite 
and embody these qualities, and signify the glory which 
the possession of them brought to Athens. Its structure 

' Of all gods and goddesses, Athene U the universal helper In heroic 
action,— helping Heracles. Theseos. Achilles. Odysseos. This suggmts 
the high part which the Greeks cooceived intelligence to pla; in all great 
deeds. 



GREEK ART AND POETRY. 



aSS 



should in all respects conform to this purpose; the stat- 
ues and sculptured adornments of the building should set 
forth and carry out this purpose, and there should be 
nothing out of harmony. Accordingly there may be dis- 
cerned, beyond the structural and formal unity of the 
building and its parts, two further modes of unity ful- 
filled : one epic or dramatic, that the whole building set 
forth one topic; the other lyric, that all accord in tone 
and mood and thought. 

Within the temple stood the great statue of Athene 
the virgin, beautiful, unmoved by passion, unswerving 
from high purpose, victorious and giving victory to hers; 
nurse of the race too, and bestower of handicraft on Pan- 
dora, first-made of women, as the sculptures on Athene's 
shield and the statue's base told. This statue was at 
once an image of the goddess, a symbol and suggestion 
of what the sculptures of the pediments, the metopes, 
and the frieze should explain and amplify. On the east 
pediment. Athene bursts into full and potent being; on 
the west pediment, she conquers Poseidon, striving for 
the Attic land, and symbolizes by her olive gift the good 
fosterer she will ever be. But no mere local god shall be 
the patron of imperial Athens, Persia's conqueror and the 
" eye of Greece." As Athene was the helper of Athen- 
ian achievement, which was the achievement of the high- 
est race, so had she ever been the helper in all heroic acts, 
in all deeds and accomplishment which had made for 
civilization and for good. The sculptures of the metopes 
pass beyond the bounds of Attica, find their topics in 
broad Athenian and Hellenic achievement, wherein 
Athene aided; pass even beyond the heaven-assisted 
deeds of men to the primordial conflict wherein divine 
intelligence asserted itself over brute strength, the Olym- 
pian overthrow of earth-born giants, most of all Zcus's and 
Athene's victory', and symbolic of all victories to come of 
mind and order and civilization over their evil opposites. 
This was the subject of the metopes on the eastern side, 



286 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



the first and earliest, the morning side. The rest of the 
metopes showed those victories of men which came by- 
Athene's aid. On the south, bestial centaurs arc con- 
quered by Lapiths, Theseus aiding; on the west, wild 
Amazons are overthrown, another victory for Theseus 
and his Athenians and for civilization; and on the north, 
perhaps the conquest of Troy symbolized the overthrow 
of the Persians by the Greeks, pre-eminently by the 
Athenians, and all through Athene's aid. With the 
frieze we turn to Athens's inner self, the peace and festal 
honor of Athene. Its unbroken line shows Athens's vic- 
torious present and her glory, the wisdom of her elders, 
the strength and beauty of her youths, and her graceful 
maidens. By Athene's help she has attained, and now, 
through sacrifice and honor to her goddess and the other 
deathless gods, she crowns her own fair deeds. She has 
reached god-given leisure for noble and happy life. 



Greek 

Trafiredy; 

ArUtotle's 

Poetics. 



Aristotle's Poetics is ill-written, but profoundly sug- 
gestive. Its critical formulations are most enlightening 
as to all things Greek, for they proceed from 
Greek standpoints, and outline the poetic, 
even the artistic, accomplishment of the race. 
And since Greek art within its sphere was 
very truth and excellence, Aristotle's analysts 
and formulation of certain of its qualities present some 
canons of artistic criticism of universal validity. In hold- 
ing art to be the presentation of the universal in forms of 
the concrete,' Aristotle was stating in most general terms 
what the Hellenic genius had actually wrought in poetry 
and sculpture. It is instructive to follow him as he 
focuses his critical reflections upon the drama, and 
observe how readily his remarks find illustration in extant 
Greek plays. 

Before iEschylus, drama was drama, that is to say, 
action^ as well as speech. Words, music, mimetic dance 



GREEK ART AKD POETRY. 



287 



iftd gesture, together made the play. Consequently 
Athenian tragedy had its origin in mimetic repres[:ntation 
as well as in the dithyrambic recital accompanying it. 
The plays of ^schylus, as they exist in written form, arc 
not the full dramatic story. Dialogue and chorus were 
filled out with important action. An ^scbylcan trilogy 
was to be seen as well as heard. With Sophocles, and 
still more with Euripides, the drama becomes more com- 
pletely literary. Henceforth, though the setting remain 
an element, a play is to be heard, or even read, rather 
than seen. But this origin of the Greek drama ' is not 
without its bearing on Aristotle's view of tragedy. 

" Tragedy is the imitation' of an action weighty and 
complete, of definite magnitude, in language made beau- 
tiful ' in modes suitable to the different parts, by persons 
acting, and not through narrative, effecting through pity 
and fear the purging of such emotions."* This defini- 
tion outlines Aristotle's views of the nature and effect of 
tragedy, and suggests his conception of dramatic unity, 
A drama should be an organic whole, unencumbered 
with superfluity, unimpaired by anything impertinent or 
incongruous. This fundamental principle of all artistic 
composition applies with peculiar strictness to the drama, 

I Wherein it does not di£Fer from the dramas of other lands and time* ; 
the pantomime Is at firet the important part. 

* The ordinary meaning of the tenn *' imitation " U not clearly the tame 
as that of Aii&lotle's use of the word ^xn-^iSt%t for the term is usually 
applied only to the reproduction of matters of concrete fact actually exist- 
enL bat such were matters for history, not poetry, to imitate [Poetics, ix). 
Poetry should imitate the type, but indeed must 6rst create it. So Aristode'i 
phrase, as he applies it to tragedy, is closely related to his definition of art 
in Nieh* ElhUi (sec anU^ p. 366). But the matter has often heen ex- 
haostively discossed (see the dissertation in Twining's AriitotU's Treatiie 
OH Poetry and Butcher's Aristotle's Theory of Poetry and Pint Art), As 
to the modes in which poetry imitates or creates, Aristotle has chiedy two 
in Tiew, narrative and impcrwjnalion, the tatter heinE the dramatic mode, 
the former the epic, (hough Aristotle prnises Homer for speaking so much 
in the persons of his heroes, and so making his epics imitate in a dramatic 
manner. 

* Literally ** sweetened," f}iiv6uiv<». * PoeHa, vi, 3. 



288 



ANCIENT WEALS. 



which is the presentation of an action complete and of a 
definite and proper magnitude. The action must be 
complete, that is to say, must be a whole, having (i) a 
beginning which implies no necessary antecedent, but is 
itself a natural antecedent of something to come; (a) a 
middle, which requires other matters to precede and follow ; 
and (3) an end, which naturally follows upon something 
else, but implies nothing following it. Then the action 
must be of a certain magnitude in order to be beautiful; 
for nothing is beautiful which is either so large or so small 
as to be unsuited to ready apprehension,' More especially 
the action must be of such magnitude as can, under the 
conditions of dramatic representation, readily be grasped 
by an audience; it cannot be as extensive as that which 
might fill an epic. On the other hand, it must be large 
enough to hold serious matter and lead up naturally to 
the catastrophe wherein it ends. So much for the formal 
qualities of the action. The more essential qualities of 
those weighty actions which are " tragic," will appear in 
noticing the different elements of a tragedy, and receive 
final comment from consideration of what should be the 
effect of the play. 

Since tragedy is the imitation or presentation of an 
action, its most important element is that which performs 
the chief part of the imitation; and this is the 
plot or story {^v^os)^ which indeed is the imi- 
tation — the dramatic presentation — of the action,* corre- 
sponding with the action point by point, and subject to 
the same requirements of unity, completeness, and mag- 
nitude.' Says Aristotle: "Tragedy is not an imitation of 
men, but of action and life. Hence its purpose is not 
imitation or representation of character, but lies in the 
story and its incidents, and the structure of the plot."' 

' Poetics, vi. 9. etc. ' /*.. viL • It., ri. t 

* Hence it is the plot of a drama that, like the action which U to 

dnuruitized, does not admit into its stnictare socb episodes u might not \ 

turb the looser anity of an epic 



The Plot. 



GREEK ART AND POETRY. 



289 



This critical view accords with the intrinsic nature of the 
greatest Greek dramas. One has but to read the (Edipus 
Tyrannus to feel that its chief end is not to express sen- 
timents, delineate emotion, or even to set forth character. 
The dramatized story, the plot, the unfolding of inci- 
dents, the unexpected, unavoidable discovery, the dread- 
ful catastrophe, holds the reader as it held the audience; 
and what it all sets forth is not character, nor passion, 
but life in its dark tangle of all that thwarts or fashions, 
raises men or casts them down. Herein truly is human 
character a mighty factor; but it is not all, and the drama 
sets forth all, even life's full complex of action, wherein 
character is but part of destiny. A Greek drama is an 
instance of the action, nay, the conduct, of life's forces; 
and the ^vBos outbulks in importance all other dramatic 
elements. 

An action fashioned, wrought out, and commented 
upon, creatively presented in a drama, is become a con- 
crete instance of the working of life's universal factors. 
The actions and utterances of the chorus are evoked natu- 
rally and inevitably by the course of the drama, in which 
the chorus also should be involved.* Their utterances 
point the drama's universality, relate its events to uni- 
versal laws of life, and display the fortunes of the actors 
set in the moral laws which bring them to their issue. 
This is the dramatic function of the chorus.' But the 
true drama, that is to say, the action itself, displays its 
universality in its own consistent consequence of event, 
wherein life's laws display themselves. This consistency 
is displayed externally in deeds which accord not only 
with the doer's situation, but with his character, the 
other determining factor in his fortune.' More spiritually 

' The choms, c.^.. in the Asamemnsn or the (EJtJuu, i% concerned ic the 
action o[ the piece more closely than ox a mere sympathetic spectator. 

' The choral utterances of the (StUfiMs and Asamfmtwn strildngty per- 
fonn this fanclior. See f.^. the iEdipus, 863, ft te^. 

*Tlus consistency malces a drama just, with &ucb justness as ig shown in 
the dramas of ^scbylus and Sophocles, as well as in the epics. Notice the 

VOL. I.— 19 



2g0 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



this consistency appears, as the effect of fortune upon 
character is seen in the changed man. The chorus in the 
Agamemnon sings of the divine law whereby men. 
through suffering, are ]ed to knowledge without their 
willing it.' Sophocles' dramas embody this way of the 
divine. In CEdipus, even in the more stubborn-minded 
Creon of the Antigone, is shown the poet's beautiful 
artistic apprehension of the humbling and enUghtening 
effect of calamity on a not ignoble man. Thus the Greeks 
dramatized this depth of truth, human and divine, even 
sliowing how through suffering man is brought nearer God.* 
It is part of Aristotle's definition,that tragedy imitates 
or sets forth an action through persons acting it out/ and 
not through narrative. Greek taste did not permit hor- 
rors to be enacted on the stagc> and the necessity of 
informing the audience of these events, and of others 
which it was not practicable to present, put the dramat- 
ists to the makeshift of the messenger — the ayytXo: — 
so frequent in Greek plays. Here Aristotle's critical 
requirement that the drama should be wrought out 
through action, and not by narrative, was infringed, and 
most flagrantly by Euripides. The messengcr-devicc 
meant incomplete dramatic presentation, it was undra- 

AsamumHOH, the summit of all tragedy. Therein life is just, t^othiaf 
unmerited happens ; eveiy one in the drama has sinned. The chonis knows 
not whether to STmpalhize with Agamemnon, ;el knows well to ooitdana 
C))-teninestn. The reader of the play does not ask why Cassandra gsre BO 
warning, but rather feels the weight of destiny tiiat sealed her lipa. She 
coald not speak, even if she clearly knew what was to happen. But did 
she know? In her, prophecy is a dark and overwhelming forebodiag, 
which stifles atterance, then frencics to hardly articulate speech. Slw 
foresaw her own fate too ; she was not guiltless ; had she not decdnd 
Apollo ? She moves as strongly, but with no wish to save her. She is so 
tngic. so held by doom, that her only proper action ia to forebode her 
death and die. Finally, it was meet that the murderen should boast tfadr 
foolt&h day, before they too went their way appealing fate. 

' Afwmemnon. t84, etc 

* This in the (£dipus CoUneiu / compare Wolscy ta ShaJECspcuv's Htmry 
I^I/i—' ' I feel my heart new opened," etc. 

■ Aptivrmr, Ptttics, vi, a. 



GHEEJir ART AND POETHY. 



291 



matic and a flaw in the construction of the plot. It was 
sometimes avoided by making the narrative of what had 
taken place off the stage a part of the essential action of 
the drama; Clytemnestra's announcement to the Argive 
Elders of her murder of Agamemnon is very drama, 
being a part of the catastrophe. 

It goes without saying that the structure of the plot 
should be artistically and imaginatively probable. Says 
Aristotle, touching the veriest trait of Greek artistic 
genius, the dramatist should see his plot, keep its scenes 
before his eyes; then he will be unlikely to fall into in- 
consistencies or improbabilities which a spectator of the 
play would notice' Each succeeding incident must be 
the proper, nay, the inevitable, outcome of what has gone 
before, though coming in a striking and unexpected man- 
ner, like the admirable revolution {nepiTrertJa) and dis- 
covery {avayvcofiKjis) which come in the (Edipus Tyran- 
nus.^ The catastrophe must rise as of necessity from out 
the operation of the laws of life embodied in the drama.' 

The elements of a tragedy next in importance after the 
plot are what Aristotle calls 7^0? (sometimes in the plu- 
ral, xa Tfdtf) and ^lavoiaf. His definitions of 
these two matters are not clear, perhaps from 
failure adequately to express his meaning and 
also because his analysis was incomplete. But 
there is most suggestive significance in what 
he says. ^HOos, as here used by Aristotle, is usually 

' PottieSt xvii. 

* A revolution is a change to the reverse of whut was expected : i.e., any 
event where the agent's action has produced an effect the opposite of his 
intention. A discovety is a change from the unknown to the known, taking 
place between those whose fortunes fonn the catastrophe of the piece. A 
bcaatlful revolution aad discovery is contained in the stoiy of Joseph and 
his brethren— as Twining remarks. 

' For instance, Aristotle says the best kind of dlscorery is not that from 
ft visible sign or feature suddenly rECDgnized, nor one invented or adventi- 
tious, nor even the discovery springing from inference, but that which arises 

lout of the action of the piece, ti dvraSv rvv itpccypdzaor ^ as in the 

l<£(ij(^. Pettujt xvi and xi. 



Ethos ; 

Human 

Freedom 

and Lore's 

Bondage. 



292 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



rendered character, and Sidvota primarily means thou| 
viewed in its activity or energizing, not as quiescent 
capacity, which is voCf (mind). 

It were well to follow his explanations of the terms. 
Since tragedy is the imitation of an action, there must be 
persons to carry the action on; and Xh^sit dramatis per- 
sotus are what they are by virtue of their ijQos and 
dtaroiay which determine likewise the nature of their 
acts. More especially yjdos signi6es the man's underlying 
determinant qualities, which make him such a person as 
he is; while diavoia \s that intelligent faculty through 
which, in spCiiking, he sets forth his sentiments and opin- 
ions as circumstances require. Through the latter^ ac- 
cordingly, he effects whatever is to be accomplished by 
speech, demonstrates or refutes, rouses in others feeliags 
of pity^ fear, anger, and such like, and shows a matter's 
importance or insignificance." As for the rjQrf of iHe 
dramatis persons, the underlying qualities of character, 
they should be good, that is, should show goodness of 
motive; they should be appropriate — a man may be 
drawn valorous, but not a woman. Moreover, they 
should be natural, and each character drawn consistently 
throughout, even in its inconsistencies.* And further, 
since tragedy is the imitation of wliat is above the com- 
mon level, the poet should follow the example of good 
portrait-painters, who veritably reproduce the distinctive 
form and features of the subject, yet make them more 
beautiful. So in making dramatis per s<m<s hot-tempered, 
easy-minded, or with other such like traits, the poet, 
while making them of such a temper,should make them 
noble, like Homer's Achilles for example.' 

From the above it is clear that by v^of Aristotle 
intended the abiding elements of personality or character. 

» PoeHts, vi, 5. 6, 16 ; lix. I. 3. 

* Ih., XV, i-s. An illnstntion of ft chanctcr consistCDt in Jtt iiifwiiii 
tendes is Cloten in Shakespeare's Cymhehnt. 
*«, 8. 



GREEK ART AND POETRY. 



293 



There lies, moreover, in his words the further implication 
that qualities of character, to constitute i]Qos proper to 
poetry and art, must be large, strong, and comprehensive, 
must represent good motives; and in Greek ^y^^ good 
motives were such as were not narrow, not shortsighted, 
not ignoble, but took account of life in its height and 
breadth. In such a broad sense as this, dramatic v^og- 
must h^cthica! ; it implies xaXonayaSla in a human per- 
sonality. Aristotle suggests his farthest meaning just at 
the point where his analysis stops incomplete. The prob- 
lem of the freedom of the human will did not present itself 
to the Greeks in that ultimate and inner form in which it 
has perplexed men's minds for the last eighteen centuries. 
One reason why the Greeks did not perceive the problem, 
but simply recognized man's will as free, however unable 
he might be to effect it, was that in general they noticed 
only the physical, and the more occasional spiritual 
restrictions on human action. These came from fate and 
the will of the gods, powers broad and all-encompassing 
and which took account of wickedness; but yet were 
forces from without. For the Greeks never had a con- 
ception of an omnipotent and omniscient personal God 
whose original pre-ordainmcnts might — perhaps must — 
encompass and control the apparent self-dircctings of the 
human will. From his unconsciousness of this problem 
Aristotle speaks somewhat unanalytically when he makes 
the deeply significant remark that v^of is that which 
manifests deliberate choice,— that which shows what sort 
of things a man chooses or shuns in matters requiring a 
decision.* Thus it becomes the sum of human quality 
regarded as self-determining and selective; it is the 
expression of man's personality in inner choice, in free 
determination. Hence only he has ^of whose self- 
determining qualities of character are strong enough to 
preserve his freedom of choice; he whom passion flings 
hither and thither has it not. We shall hardly go beyond 

» PO€titI, Vi, 17 ; (/' ""^y I. 



294 



ANCIENT WEALS, 



Aristotle's meaning if we find ti6os to signify such lar^ 
combination of human traits in a personality as make it 
great, strong, and impressive; as make it good through 
the goodness, to wit, the reach and compass and propor- 
tioning self-adjustment of its motives; as make it human 
in the highest sense, because they hold it free, choosing 
its course of conduct, not swayed by passion. 

It is now plain what Aristotle means by saying the trage- 
dies of most of the recent composers are dtfOtts, — with- 
out tjOos. Likewise, among painters, there is the same 
difference between Polygnotos and Zeuxis; the former is 
a good delineator of ^os, the latter's work has none.' 
That Aristotle drew in his mind the same distinction 
between Sophocles and Euripides may be inferred from 
his approval of the former dramatist's remark that he 
made men as they ought to be; Euripides made them as 
they were.' Moreover, it is easy to see that Sophocles* 
dramatis persona have tjOos while those of Euripides have 
not. A flawless character were not fit for tragedy ; ' a 
character may have flaws and yet possess f}Ooe. Such is 
the case with Sophocles' CEdJpus; possibly he was over- 
weening in self-reliance, certainly he was carried away by 
his imperious temper, wherein lay the beginning of his 
ruin. But he is good, his motives are good, they are 
broad, such as those of a beneficent ruler should be; hit 
wrath in the drama has its source partly in his thought of 
what is due him because he is what he is. Throughout 
the time of the play, even as he had been before, he is 
masterful and energetic ; his acts anticipate others' sug- 
gestions. At the end, when ruin, utter, horrible, has 
fallen on him, his strength of character endures, his vision 
is still clear, he sees himself as others must see him, — as a 
pollution. ** Let me be cast out ! *' he cries. In the 
(Edipus Coioneus, from a realization of himself and the 
motives of his conduct, that is, out from his own charac* 
ter, he gathers final calm ; and from a view of the relation 
) PtHtUSy vi, II. > />.. xxT, 6. • See /Ml, 



CREEK ART AND POETRY. 



295 



of his character to his fortunes, he gains a sense of conse- 
cration to some purpose over him, and he is satisfied. 

The v^of, the perfect beauty, of Antigone is clear. 
The weaker sister Ismene is a foil to Antigone's great- 
ness; yet even she does not narrow her dissuading argu- 
ments to small personal motive; she argues from what 
she would regard as right.' But Antigone's greatness is 
such that she sees the matter absolutely — she will honor 
her brother's corpse: " Well is it for me to die doing 
this ! " ' This is Antigone, the note that tells her very 
self. Thereafter, when brought before Creon, the whole 
thought of her great justification ' is of the divine laws of 
righteousness. Quietly she looks upon herself with ref- 
erence to these laws, not to her desires. Creon tells her 
she will be hateful to the brother who slew Polynices and 
was slain by him. Antigone rises above this argument — 
*' I loved them both, but joined not in their hates.*'* 
As she passes to her tomb her womanhood feels her fate 
sadly, almost hopelessly, but so fittingly, so beautifully 
always,' and so true: " Behold, princes of Thebes, the 
last daughter of the house of your kings, and what I suffer 
and from whom ! because I revere what must be revered. ' ' ' 

Antigone's conduct in this last drama of her unhappy 

house was but one part of what she was. Many other and 

further deeds she might have done; further capacities were 

hers of loving and revering. What a wife she could have 

been, and what a mother ! what strength of love and 

duty was in her, untold by the story ! ' Her love is love 

free bom ; its strength works free with all the laws of 

righteousness which it honors so duteously. Love with 

Euripides is passion's slave, which galls itself against the 

laws of righteousness, 

» Sec e.g. Antigew, 49. etc. * 72., 533 ; */• »*•. 559> 560, 

•y?., 72. 'See id., 824, etc. 

* /A., 4SO, etc.; an^, p. 338. ' /<*., 940- 

* Antigone is frequently spoken of as statuesqae, and riglitly In at least 
this respect, that, Uke Phidian statues, her actions are well within her 
capacities. 



2g/S 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



It is even so. With Euripides there has come sptrituaT 
bondage. Passion's slaves are neither great nor free. 
Quick rise the waves of shallow waters. Passion had not 
so violently moved the men and women of Euripides had 
they been stronger men and women, greater, better, more 
self-controlled, more clearly seeing, more righteous. In 
heightening passion, he thus lowers character, and narrows 
motives down to self and self's loves and hates. Medea, 
in his great drama of hate, has no thought beyond her 
sufferings and her hatred, no slightest consideration of 
things broader, ethical. Even the chorus seems scarcely 
to relate Medea's situation and conduct to broad laws of 
life, but concerns itself with the personal hard lots of 
women—touching, but not sublime. What another sort 
of passion's slave is Phrcdra in the Hippolytus, every one 
knows, or readily can see by reading the play. Again, 
the /on is a lovely piece in many ways ; it concludes hap- 
pily, but with no good or broad motive having once 
worked in it. One turns at last to the lovely pathos of 
the Aiccstis, to find what ? That she is just the reverse 
of Medea in every way; instead of personal hatred, here 
is personal love, and very lovely love, of husband and 
children ; but how much less in compass than Antigone's! 
In Alcestis' speech with Admetus it is always personal 
matters that she recalls, how much more she has done 
for him than he for her, for instance. Then she bespeaks 
his kindness to their children with utmost sweetest pathos. 
And when she has passed for the moment to her tomb, 
it is solely from the point of view of personal regret that 
Admetus bewails his lot and counts Aiccstis dead as 
better off than he.' 

Euripides was the progenitor of the love-motive in 
literature, the motive of passionate love between a man 
and woman with all its pangs. But as treated by this 
great delineator of passion and his Hellenistic succes- 
sors,' love might move to pity, even to fear; it would 

> AUertu, 935, rtc. *See chapw ii,/M< 



GREEK ART AND POETRY. 



297 



seldom rouse admiration, for it was seldom admirable, or 
noble, or broad, or finely, highly human; it lacked jyt^of, 
was not ethical, at most might be unethically pathetic. 
The reason is clear. That cannot be distinctively and 
highly humaji which is not free. And this love in Euripi- 
des and later Greek literature stands for no free human 
choice on the part of either man or woman. It may 
bring tumultuous joy, likely will bring affliction. But it 
is always something put on mortals by Eros or Aphro- 
dite, a thing with which men and women are smitten, no 
part of their will, no part of their highest, distinctively 
human, self-determining character. ■ 

This passionate slave-thing, love, lacks r/<9off — is unethi- 
cal — from another point of view, in that it can consider 
but itself, takes no account of life's full contents, is a 
shortsighted, haphazard, unproportioning thing in man. 
The nobility of Greek tragedy lies in its presentation of 
the greatness of humanity inwardly free, however thwarted 
or cast down by mightier forces; nay, human greatness is 
shown forth through the dark power of hidden fate 
which casts it down. Love's passion was treason from 
within, a Delilah bondage of human greatness unto its 
own destruction. 

Besides the tragic elements just now spoken of, Aris- 
totle finds three others needful to tragedy: the scenic 
setting of the piece (o^wff)the music {^fXonota, 
}ii^oi), and the diction (^^^iff).' With Aris- 
totle music had educational and ethical import : 
*' melodies contain in themselves representations of moral 
qualities."' As for diction, its excellence lay in per- 
spicuity and in its being neither below nor above the 
dignity of the subject.* Consequently the diction of 
tragedy, to be suited to the dignity of weighty actions, 
should be noble; the virtue of such style is to be clear 
without being mean. The poet must avoid that super- 
abundance of metaphor which obscures, and yet make 

' Poetics ^yif "J. * PoUtUt, vUi, 5;^/. i&., viii, 0,7. ' JP^f/., m,2 ; Ui. x?. 



Music and 
Diction. 



398 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



use of language sufficiently figurative, novel, and distin- 
guished, to preserve his style from the commonplace.' 
Thus will his diction be fitting and beautiful. In all of 
these respects Homer's style is perfect." 

The effect of tragedy — its proper effect though not its 
conscious end — is through pity and fear to purge the 

soul of such emotions. The word Ha6af>aiS* 
Effect of ygj.(j (jy Aristotle, is a metaphor apparently 
theTrae'c ^*^^" from medicine, and signifies primarily 
Ch*r»cter. ^^*^ expulsion from the human soul of pity and 

fear regarded as hurtful things. Aristotle's 
thought, however, here incompletely expressed, must be 
gathered from the relation of this remark to the rest of 
his views on tragedy.* The thought of purging implies 
expulsion of what is detrimental. It is to be inferred 
that tragedy will purge of evil things, not of what is 
good. Nothing is more evil than to be a slave, an inner, 
spiritual slave ; for the quality of being free is essential to 
human virtue. Passions produce just this inward slavery, 
for they nullify the will. Hence it were well that the 
soul should be purged of fear and pity regarded as emo- 
tions which sway where reason and man's self-cfctcrmining 
will should rule. Tragedy exhibits the principles of things 
pitiable and dreadful, exhibits dreadful and pitiable acts 
and conditions in their universal aspects, and thereby 
instructs the soul, widens its vision, experiences it in 
things of fear and pity, so enables it to apprehend and 
know, whereby it shall not suddenly be made a slave in 
ignorance. So shall the man be calm and free in presence 
of the like. But again, tragedy purges the soul of such 
emotions considered as hurtful, painful, and disturbing 
elements. It draws the feelings forth, relieves the man 
of them, and gives him calm. That a great tragedy has 

' I*oeties, xxW. 
«/*., xxi», I, t. 
*/*., Ti, 2 ; ef. Poiitits, v, 7. 

* C/. the discussion of the matter In Batcbcr't AriitatUt Tiuery »f Art 
nnd p9ttry^ ch. TU 



GREEK ART AND POETRY. 



299 



this effect is proved by experience, which wc may know 
as well as Aristotle. Moreover, a Greek tragedy usually 
closes in quiet tones with such incident, or comment of 
the chorus^ as is fitted to lower the excited feelings of 
the spectators and divert their minds to a consideration 
of other matters than the tragic event seen in its sheer 
fearfulness. 

Finally, in a sense intermediate between these two 
conceptions of the tragic purge, it can be said that the 
sight of things dreadful and pitiable purifies the fears 
and pities of the soul from sentimentality, connection 
with objects trivial or unworthy ; also from too exclusively 
egotistic direction, taking them beyond the bounds of 
the individual and particular, affording view of what is 
universal and typical in such matters; and thus, freeing 
them from the extremes of extravagance and apathy, 
it induces the mean and increases the philosophic virtue 
of the soul. 

But that things should be truly dreadful and pitiable, 
having this right tragic effect upon the soul, it is neces- 
sary that they should be such and bear such relationship 
to life, that their presentation will not affect the soul per- 
versely. The action dramatized must be such, have such 
consistency throughout, and eventuate in such result, that 
it will altogether square with life's truest, broadest laws. 
It must not be inconsequent, untruly related to those 
principles which hold life's height and depth, and so con- 
trol. In this broad sense the tragedy must not be un- 
ethical; for it must be a true and veritable instance of 
life's broad, controlling, fateful forces; thus will it pres- 
ent life in its farthest verity and power. 

So may we see how Aristotle's view of what is rightly 
dreadful and pitiable, and of the character and fortune 
best suited for tragedy, reflect broad Hellenic judgments 
upon life, life not in its accidents but in its ultimate 
necessities of law. These shall be represented in the 
hero of the tragedy. He must not be a perfectly good 



300 



Al^ClENT IDEALS, 



man, not an absolutely Bawless character; there must be 
some flaw to which destiny may attach its tendrils. For, 
that ruin should come upon an absolutely flawless man, 
flawless in himself and in his ties of blood which also tell, 
did not accord with Greek judgment as to what was nor- 
mal, as to what was fit. Hence, says Aristotle, such a 
spectacle upon the stage is senseless and abominable;' 
it is too out of relation to the ways of life — life's universal 
ways, not its accidents — to present itself rightly as dread- 
ful and pitiable; it has no lesson, no effect; the spec- 
tator's soul is simply shocked. Again, a bad man passing 
from evil to good fortune is not a fiit subject for tragedy. 
That were most untragic {aTpaytpdotaToy), it rous 
neither pity nor fear, nor is it fit to see.' Conversely.^ 
the downfall of an utterly bad man does not fulfil the^ 
conditions of tragedy. It satisfies our humane senti- 
ments; ' but rouses no pity, since we feel that the misfor- 
tune was deserved; and it rouses no dread, since it doesi 
not touch us; we feel dread only of what might happeoj 
to such as we ourselves arc. The proper tragic persona 
is the man between these two moral extremes, neither' 
flawless nor wicked ; one whose downfall is occasioned 
through some fault,* 

These short paragraphs of the Poetics are far from 
exhausting tragic possibilities; indeed they hardly take 
account of all the noblest works of Greek tragedy, as, for 
instance, the Antigone of Sophocles; and yet that tra^c_ 
heroine accords with Aristotle's furthest views of tragic 
fitness. Her fate presents truly the relationship of such 
a personality to the ways, the laws, of life. Given an 
Antigone in like circumstances, and she must do as did 
this perfect flower of pagan womanhood, and meet a fate 
like hers. The veritable tragic spectacle is that of human 
downfall, wrought out, not through wickedness nor )*et 
blamelessly, which last in tragedy means inconsequci»>i^ 

' Mtapoy, a pollution. ' f.e., it U tfitXar9pmKcif. 

5 • ^iXdvGpavor, * Poetics, ziii. s, ^ 



CHAPTER X. 



GREEK PHILOSOPm'. 



low- 



Desire for 

Knowl* 

edge. 



THE desire of knowledge, and the faculty o 
ing, and distinguishing between the known and 
unknown, were peculiarly characteristic of the 
Greek race. Most ancient peoples did not perceive and 
know with sufficient clearness to distinguish what they 
saw from what they did not see, and what they 
The Greek knew from all the rest whereof they were igno- 
rant. In the mental stores of Egypt and 
Babylonia, chaff never ceased to be as good as 
grain; and India saw and knew all things 
through the mist of her desires. Greek knowledge was 
destined to know itself. Because of its ever clearer rec- 
ognition of its sources, its modes and means, its evidence 
and bounds, it was to show the same unique and definite 
progress through reasoning selection and discrimination, 
which Greek art discloses alone among the arts of ancient 
peoples. 

The desire to know has various motives. Any savage 
wants to know how to capture his prey and kill his ene- 
mies. And the anxiety to keep in safe relationship to 
everything having power to hurt or benefit, is a sufficient 
motive for the lore of sorcerer and priest and seer. With 
the Greeks appears a desire to know, having no immedi- 
ate practical reason, nor motive beyond the satisfaction 
which the knowledge gives. This b a trait of Odysseus 
in the Odyssey, and is recognized as a normal trait of man 
by the Stren-song which would allure to destruction with 

301 



CREEK PHILOSOPHY. 



303 



its cadences of promised knowledge. Homer's Achaeans 
were absorbed with earth's eager life. But Hesiod's 
Thcogimy reflects a more contemplative desire to know 
those things anterior and transcendent which account for 
man and his environment. With the advent of historic 
times many Greeks appear wandering abroad simply from 
human curiosity to learn whatever might be of interest in 
foreign countries. In Herodotus, Croesus says to Solon 
that he has heard how, from love of knowledge [tpiXor 
ffo^^ojy) Solon has travelled far to see what might be 
seen/ It was exactly what the Father of History was 
doing, and what was done by many of those early Greeks 
who aftenvards were called philosophers. 

The fact that wise Greeks, from Thales on, were wont 
to travel in order to increase their knowledge, raises the 
question whether Greek philosophy was not in 
its origin largely an ingathering of thoughts Greek 

from other peoples. Of a truth he was "Og^J^^J'^J'^ 
Greek who would not learn from every one he ^^^ Greek 
met; and many a suggestion Thalcs, and those Spirit, 
who followed quick upon him, took from non- 
Hellenic sources. But these men were Greeks; Greek 
were their faculties; Greek, the spirit of their inquiry, the 
mode of their investigation and their reasoning, and 
Greek were their deductions; — those broad results which 
have survived to represent the views of these early think- 
ers. Thales's opinion that the origin of things was water, 
like Anaximander's that it was undifferentiated matter, 
was an hypothetical explanation of the world.' We 
know of the results they reached ; and time has spared 
just enough of their reasonings to show that these results 
were inferences, and not baseless guesses or borrowings. 
So, in general, whatever hints came from abroad, and 
they were unimportant, Greek philosophy was, like Greek 
art, a self-wrought thing, a matter of consecutive Greek 

» Herod., i. 30. 

• Sec Burnet, Earfy Crtek Pkilojtfhy. Introduction, g x. 



304 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



Its Nature. 



reasoning upon the content of Greek observation, a pure 
expression of the Greek discriminating and constructive 
intelligence. 

Greek philosophy began in the Greek desire to know 
for the sake of knowing and the satisfaction brought. It 
stood for Greek desire to know and understand 
the visible world, to explain it in the sense of 
ascertaining its underlying and abiding reason — what is 
the primordial constituent and factor of the world ? This 
it sought to ascertain, to present^ to picture. It was 
open-minded and objective, undistorted by wishes as to 
how things should be. Its initial motive was not the 
yearning to adjust the universe to man according to his 
personal desires, but to find out about it fundamentally. 
Yet the Greeks through their periods of growth kept 
their lives whole, the elements thereof related, unified. 
From the beginning Greek ethics had been inclusive of 
Greek practical wisdom and broadest views of life. Hence, 
as philosophy was a search for knowledge broad and fun- 
damental, the philosopher would not be true to the 
wholeness of his character as Greek if he did not en- 
deavor to relate his practical view of life, and his 
thoughts of conduct, to his view of the world's funda- 
mental facts. Philosophy, moreover, the search for 
knowledge, was itself broadening to more complete j 
indusiveness of experience. Its borders must encroach 
on life's practical affairs. The two provinces of life, 
conduct and the search for knowledge, could not but 
join. Thus, with fuller maturity of thought, philosophy 
took life unto itself, and life took to itself philosophy; a 
process which was to complete itself when, with Socrates, 
philosophic investigation turned to man. Thenceforth 
more completely, with wider scientific wisdom, man 
should understand himself, and on that knowledge base 
his life. So comes it that at Delphi, in Apollo's temple, 
the precept, Know yourself, yvoiOt aavjov^ was 6tly set 
beside the broadest maxim of Greek conduct, pof^iv ayay^ 

* Cf. Flato Protagoras. 343. 



GREEK PHILOSOPHY. 



305 



nothing in excess, to wit, of you ; for the which, know 
yourself. Philosophy became a part of life, a way of life 
indeed. Only when in later Hellenistic times is broken 
the full unity of human activity, — which is very life, — 
knowledge loses its 6nal value as an element thereof, and 
philosophy becomes a thing of practical utility, a guide 
of life. It exists not for its own proper sake, as a high 
part of life, but only as a means of holding oneself poised 
amid life's storms. 

So should philosophy ascertain the fundamental far- 
thest facts of the world's constituency and of human life, 
and all its ascertainments it should recognize, and then 
discriminate the best, the most, the veriest, and sanction 
such for man. Herein in process it was art's converse, 
but in its goal, art's analogue. For art — sculpture, paint- 
ing, poetry — presented Greek ideals in concrete exemplifi- 
cations; while philosophy was the search critical therefor, 

" The gods have not shown men all things from the 
beginning, but seeking in time they find out what 13 
better.**' These lines of Xenophanes tell the position 
which philosophy was to hold toward religion and the 
traditionary view of the world and man. Philosophy did 
not feel itself opposed to religion; its task was investiga- 
tion. When that led to matters touching man's relation- 
ship to the gods, philosophy would consider popular 
views. In so far as these were disproved by broader 
consideration of the matter, they would be rejected. 
Tradition was itself a fact; accepted religious views and 
practices were not to be set aside without a reason. And 
it bears witness to the subtle Greek appreciation of the 
secrecy of life, that Greek philosophy remained conscious 
that its hypotheses were not exhaustive, and therefore 
bore itself reverently toward all which it could not 
expl^n. The Greek nature cared for life's myriad con- 
tents; Greek philosophers might not disregard whatever 
their natures recognized instinctively. Feeling these 

' XcDophancs, Fir<^,^ t6 ; Riner and Frelter, llistoria Pkihwfkia 
Graca, 87 b. 



3o6 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



loni&D 
School. 



longings and interests within them, recognizing the com- 
plex manifold of life to which these longings related, 
they realized that as their speculation was bom of won- 
der, so it still progressed amid mysteries. "Nature loves 
to hide " ; ' man shall not exhaust her riddles. ** The god 
whose oracle is at Delphi neither declares nor conceals, 
but suggests by a sign."' From Heraclitus to Plato 
philosophy fails not in hints that all may not be known, 
nor ail of that be told. High its endeavor to know 
farthest knowledge, and grasp the secret of the universe. 
In the meanwhile it is no iconoclast. 

Greek philosophy begins with Thales of Miletus. As 
accounts remain he was the first to put the question: the 
world is what ? * what is its source ? For he 
did not distinguish between the source and 
moving cause. Thatcs knew that Homer had 
called Oceanus the source [yiveais) of gods and men. 
Perhaps, being a philosopher as Homer was a poet, he 
divested Oceanus of his personality, and then said : water 
is the source — the world is made of water. It was an 
answer based on obscr\*ation ; for to a sca-dwclling Greek, 
water was exhaustless, boundless its reaches; and more 
palpably than anything else, water takes many shapes, 
descends in rain, ascends in mist, congeals in snow and 
ice, and moisture is wherever there is life. 

Anaximander followed. The world is various, holding 
many elements in opposition to each other — wet and djy, 
hot and cold; and it is unlimited. Its source must cor- 
respond, must be unlimited: and cannot be any element 
which men perceive; for had any one of these opposing 
elements been unlimited, all else but it had ceased long 
since. The source then is just matter unlimited, infinite, 
undistinguished, unapposed to anything, imperishable — 

' Heraclitus, Frag., lo (Bywrnter's edUion). 

• Ik., fra/^,, II. 

* Sec Burnet. Earfy Gretk Phihsofky^ p. 43. Zeflcr'i ffittary */ Gntk 
PhiUsophy is not upeciAlljr died io the foUoirJQg pages becaase ■ stndjr of k 
nndalics Ibem aU. 



I 
I 



I 

i 
I 




GREEK PHILOSOPHY, 



307 



TO airetpov; whence by separation rise the distinguish- 
able and opposite elements of the visible world and all 
things therein ; into which again all things return, making 
reparation and requital to each other at the set time for 
the wrong done of temporary opposition and predomi- 
nance. He held that there were innumerable worlds, and 
had hypotheses to explain the heavenly bodies, and the 
phenomena of thunder^ lightning, wind, and rain. The 
earth hangs in mid-air, held by nothing, but remaining 
where it is because of its equal distance from, everj'thtng. 
We walk on one of its surfaces, and there is an opposite 
side/ Living animals arose from moisture under evapo- 
ration by the sun. Man was something like a fish in the 
beginning." 

The third great Milesian was Anaximenes, who, like 
Thales, sought a source which could be perceived; for 
speculation might not yet free itself from the aid of sense. 
He saw this source in air, or more especially that thick 
mistiness wherein air makes itself visible. From out of 
its encircling boundlessness all things are formed by con- 
densation and rarefaction, cooHng and heating. The in- 
troduction of this latter thought offered an exi>lanation 
of how a single substance might attain to manifold difTer- 
cntiation, and herein lay an advance upon the views of 
Thales.' 

These lonians of Miletus may have been the heads of 
a " school " whose members were connected by close tie3 
of friendship and like interest. Their philosophy, never- 
theless, has come down as physical speculation with no 
social or ethical bearing. Thereafter, however, philoso- 
phy should touch on ethical matters; though it was not 
to concern itself directly with the nature of man and the 



' Ritter and Preller, 14 c. 

* Ritlcr and PrcIler, 16 a ; c/, Burnet, p. 47, etc. The same spirit of free 
Investigatioa appcais ia the bistoriaa Hekataeus of Miletus, the contempo- 
rary o( Anaximander. See Meyer, GesckichU des AtUrtkumt^ toI. ii, g 465. 

* See Bamet, § 35. 



3o8 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



validity of knowledge, until physical speculation was felt 
to be baffling and contradictory. 

This early speculation, which mainly regarded the 
visible world and its phenomena, appears to have been 
brought into more palpable relationship with 
Pythagortt ^^^^^ ^^^ political life by Pythagoras, and to 
Eicatiw. ^^^^ been connected with a religious basis of 
ethics by Xenophanes. Both men were of 
Ionia, the one from Samos, the other from Colophon, 
But both e^rly left their homes, the Samian emigrating 
to Kroton in Magna Graecia, the man of Colophon wan- 
dering through European Greece and Sicily, leaving a 
name most closely connected with Italian Elca. In the 
sixth century, life and thought were freer in Ionia than in 
Hellas or Magna Grxcia. On the Asia Minor coast and 
its adjacent islands there were fewer Dorians, and the 
lonians had not been so sorely pressed upon by Dorian 
encroachment. Near them, back from the coast of Asia 
Minor^ were ancient civilizations not antagonistic to their 
own and yet sufficiently distinct to afford standards of 
comparison and an outside point of view, from which 
these lonians might consider their own institutions and 
opinions. Many strains of foreign influence mingled in 
Ionia, and at this time its cities were less provincial and 
more liberal-minded than those of European Greece. 
Speculation there was free, perhaps left undisturbed 
because it was sheer speculation, affecting neither politics 
nor religion ; while in Athene's city, free thinking lA'as 
not without its perils until the sacrificial death of Socrates 
liberalized Greece forever. 

Of Pythagoras it is known only that he left Samos, and 
thereafter made his home at Kroton in Magna Gnecia. 
It is not possible to separate the teachings of the master j 
from those of the sect who reverenced him and bore hia 
name. Certainly many Pythagorean doctrines grew up 
in the school long after the first forefather of the ipsei 
dixit ' had passed away. The master, however, founded i 



GREEJC PHILOSOPHY. 



309 



such a philosophical, religious, close-banded school of 
disciples as could not long continue, without conflict, in 
the narrow compass of a Greek city. For the Pythag- 
oreans were a society within a society — a noKiS within a 
JfoA./f. Hence there were troubles and expulsions. 

The fact that such a sect owed its foundation to Pythag- 
eras shows that his teachings embraced matters outside 
of physical speculation. This is confirmed by all accounts, 
earlier and later, of the school. Probably the master 
taught what very early his disciples held to, the doctrine 
of metempsychosis; and that the soul is confined in the 
body as a punishment. At death the souls of less worthy 
mortals enter other bodies, the worst passing to punish- 
ment in Tartarus; but the souls of the righteous go to a 
better world. Men therefore should strive to purify their 
lives, and better them. This school also had its answer 
to the central question of philosophy. The essence of all 
things is number, and all is number. What they meant 
by this enigmatical assertion cannot be ascertained; save 
that, inasmuch as they could have drawn no clear distinc- 
tion between the corporeal and the incorporeal, they 
could not have regarded number as immaterial or abstract. 
Perhaps their "number" meant matter somehow thought 
of in modes of numerical relationship. 

Xenophancs of Colophon passed his youth in that 
mingled Ionian atmosphere, where were many low views 
and customs vile, but where thought was free to shake 
them off and even to denounce them. He may have left 
his home at the time when the first united strength of 
the Medes and Persians descended upon the Ionian cities. 
Among others Phocis fell, and its fugitives, after a troub- 
lous time \\\ Sicily, founded Elea in Italy, whither Xeno- 
phanes may have gone. Disgust with the practices of 
the religions which surrounded him influenced the thought 
of this earnest-minded man — moralist, poet, and philoso- 
pher. His hexameters loftily disavow the popular notions, 
and denounce all who impute lies, adulteries, and incests 
to divinity. With him God is one and not many, un- 



310 



ANaENT IDEALS. 



Heraclitiis. 



changeable and eternal, not created or bom, like man in 
nothing, neither in form nor mind ; but altogether, see- 
ing, hearing, thought. Xcnophancs' conception of deity 
had part of its roots in ethical motives, and also reacted 
upon ethical thought. He sought in God that unity 
which might be the source of all. Like God, if not God, 
the universe is uniform and eternal, thought Xenophanes. 
Parmenides, greatest of Eleatics, followed. All is one — 
Being; only Being exists, eternal and unchangeable. 
Apparent plurality and change, which is non-being, do 
not exist. Herein lay Parmenides' answer to the great 
question of philosophy. Being was the source, and all 
causation was absorbed in the universal absolute One, at 
once cause and elTect, at once and indistinguishably All.* 
Before the days of the Eleatics, in India Brahmans were 
teaching that nothing exists but the absolute One; all 
change is delusion. But even then Gotama 
had come to proclaim that all is a ceaseless 
flow, a passing flame; only " becoming" is. A similar 
revolution came in Greek philosophy, though in a differ- 
ent way and inspired by other motives. A\'Tiile Par- 
menides was teaching that everything was one eternal 
substantial being, in reality undistinguishablc and the 
same, though appearing constantly to change to many 
forms, Heraclitus of Ephesus was holding that there was 
no such thing as permanent being, but everything is only 
in change; all things flow, all things constantly become. 
It is permanence that is delusion. Fire is the true 
expression of it all, and fire is the unseen soul of man. 
So the universe is one manifold of becoming, of union 
and separation, of transition from opposite to opposite. 
The life of the body is the death of the soul, the death 
of the body is tlie life of the soul. Strife is lord of all« 
yet in this strife and becoming lies the hidden harmony. 

I It may be, is Burnet says, by " Being" P*mienidei meuit body, «od 
bis doctriDc was a denial of *(^d space ; Earfy Gruk PkiL, g 7a and g ij 
o< Introduction. 



GXEEJC PHILOSOPHY. 



3" 



the mighty order which is fate, the one pervading right- 
eous permanence, ^^wj, world-ruling wisdom. Dark is 
Heraclitus always, like Apollo's oracle, and speaking of 
this high order he becomes mystical. The Sun shall not 
unpunished overstep his bounds; God brings about the 
accomplishment of everything for the harmony of the 
whole. The best for man is to know this divine law, this 
order, this hidden harmony which is mightier than any 
heard by the ear. To be wise is the highest virtue ; and 
this is to conduct one's life according to law, immedi- 
ately according to human laws recognized by all, more 
remotely, yet even more necessarily, according to the 
divine law by which all human laws are sustained. Low- 
ering are Heraclitus' moralizings; they proceed from his 
contempt of mankind in its ignorance, as well as from a 
sense of moral evil. Much did he despise men, their 
superstitions and reliance on the senses. He left one 
maxim which all men may observe: i}Bo^ ay6pa>7icp 
Sai^cov, character is a man's genius. From the frag- 
ments which remain of Heraclitus, it is plain that this 
Ephesian philosopher greatly felt life's mysteriousness, 
and the utter babyness of human wisdom.' 

The thoughts expressed by Parmcnides and Heraclitus 
were diametrically opposed. But there came philoso- 
phers in whose doctrines may be seen attempted Emped»- 
mediations.' First Empedocles, taking a middtedes; Anaz- 
course, announced four original substances, — agora*; 
each of which some philosopher before him had *°°"'* "•• 
conceived as the sole primal substance — water, earth, air, 
fire. There is no essential change in these; hence there 
is no real becoming and ceasing. Yet the apparent con- 
tinual change in the world is not mere illusion, for it 
consists in a real and never-ceasing movement of those 

* C/, Frag,, 96-99 (Bywater). 

' Not that they were so intended. Many of the prc-Socratic3 were such 
near contemporaries that there Is no agreement as to the priority of their 
doctrines ; (f. Burnet, % 84. 



3X3 



ANCiENT IDEALS, 



underived and unchangeable substances, as they combine 
and separate, moved by the forces of Love and Hate.' 
So Empedocles perceived that to account for the visible 
world an efficient cause as well as a material source was 
necessary. 

Though often baffled, the philosophic mind in seeking 
explanation necessarily seeks unity; if it abates the 
quest in one direction, it pushes on in another. Empedo- 
cles needed four material and two moving causes to 
account for the world. His contemporary Anaxagoras, 
who brought philosophy to Athens, conceived of the 
material substance as infinitely manifold in its original 
nature, conceived, that is, of an indefinite number of 
original substances, mingled at first in formlessness. In 
this formless composite existed the substance of ail 
derived things, every one from the first stamped with 
the quality it was to bear forever. Hence there is no 
generation or destruction ; but only combination and 
separation. So here was Anaxagoras, Hke Empedocles, 
half-way between Parmenides and Heraclitus. 

If Anaxagoras abandoned unity in his material cause, 
he regained it in the great efficient cause which he 
announced, vouf, that is to say, force, self-moved and 
possessed of knowledge. This caused the motion and 
ordering of the primitive substances into the ordered uni- 
verse. A'cus", tlic world-forming, all-pervading force, is 
the same everywhere, though more of it may exist in 
some bodies than in others. Anaxagoras formed his 
conception after the analogy of what was highest in 
humanity, not after the analogy of the passions as Em- 
pedocles had done, Empedocles had attributed no per- 
sonality to his Love and Hate; and none apparently did 
Anaxagoras attribute to his Nous. But these philoso- 
phers' perception of the need of an efficient cause 

' This combinatioQ U apparent coming into existence, this sepantioB is 
apparent ceasing to exist. In his ase of the lerm " Eros," Empedades bad 
Jlesiod for a predecessor. 



GR£EJC PHILQSOPSIY. 



313 



transcending matter represents the first steps of Greek 
philosophy along the way, where Plato farthest trod of 
any Greek, to the rehabilitation of an efficient cause as 
God. 

The Atomists, Leucippus and his greater disciple 
Democritus,' regained unity in their conception of the 
original substance, the material cause; and they endowed 
it with such qualities that no efficient cause, no Love or 
Hate or Nous or god, was needed in the world. The 
original substance exists in the form of atoms, the same 
in essence, yet differing in size and shape, and from the 
beginning and forever severed from each other in space. 
This infinitude of atoms moving in the void constitutes 
Being; but the void, or non-Being, is also real, for other- 
wise there could be no movement of the atoms. There 
is no real becoming and decay, only continual combina- 
tion and separation. Each atom is indivisible, impene- 
trable, contains no empty space, and the weight of each 
is in proportion to its size. So all qualities in things 
depend on the number, size, form, and arrangement of 
the atoms composing them. Hence in substance all 
things are alike, and possess primary qualities — weight, 
density, hardness, — which belong to the things them- 
selves; and secondary qualities — heat, cold, color, and 
taste, — which exist only in our perception. The move- 
ment of the atoms is caused by their weight; in falling 
they collide, and the lighter are forced upwards by the 
heavier. Worlds are formed through the mutual adhesion 
and various arrangement of atoms in their infinite move- 
ment. Nothing happens by chance, but everything by 
mechanical necessity. 

The soul is composed of fire-atoms, fine, round, smooth, 
capable of the liveliest movement. Sense-perception is 
the effect of the atoms composing the object, upon the 

* Very Httle beyond the mere skeleton of the theory can be ascribed to 
X^eucippus ; all ihai relatM to perception roust have been developed by 
Democritus, perhaps inHueDced by ProtagofAb' doctrines. 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



fire-atoms existing in the organs of sense. Conditioned 
on the action of the latter atoms, it cannot be a true 
image of realities. Yet Democritus believed in the verity 
of knowledge arrived at through thought; and with him 
thought was but the smoothest movement of the finest 
atoms. So far as we know^ he failed to distinguish 
thought from perception sufficiently to warrant his confi- 
dence in the former, while distrusting the latter. Yet in 
untroubled thought and in knowledge therefrom resulting 
— in this quiet movement of the atoms of the soul — he 
placed the highest human good, and so connected his 
ethics with his philosophy. Nothing is well for man 
which disturbs the harmonious movement of the atoms of 
his soul; therefore he should avoid sensuality and master 
his passions, discriminate between what is useful and what 
is injurious, and shun what is wrong and unseemly. 
Happiness is the aim of life, but that dwells not in herds 
nor in gold; the soul is its abode, and righteousness and 
intelligence bring it. Only the enjoyment of the beauti- 
ful and fitting is to be desired ; the more a man covets the 
more he needs ; a little suffices for him who desires little, 
and moderation increases enjoyment. To conquer one- 
self is the best victory. Not only should a man do no 
wrong, but will none ; he should be more ashamed before 
himself than before others ; only the consciousness of 
doing right brings peace of mind, and doing wrong makes 
a man more unhappy than suffering wrong. Ignorance is 
the cause of error, and as for knowledge, Democritus 
would rather know the causes of things than possess the 
Persian realm.* With Democritus apparently more fully 
than with any earlier philosopher comes the consciousness 
that philosophic knowledge must be held a part of the 
whole man, and especially must encompass and control 
his daily conduct. Democritus' ideal of knowledge is 
included in his ideal of life. Here his spirituality breaks 
through hb material doctrines. His ethics arc on as high 

' Fragmtnit of Democritas. 



GREEK PHILOSOPHY. 



3IS 



a plane as those of Socrates, but out of accord with a 
theory of the universe which reduces causation to the 
mechanical action of matter, and, in consciously exclud- 
ing mind from all agency in the world, excludes all 
thought of purpose. 

The element common to these earlier philosophers was 
the endeavor to know the causes or sources of the visible 
world. Their physical philosophy was the ener- 
gizing of the Greek understanding as it arose * " 
like a strong man to run its course. The search 
for knowledge was a part of life, a part of Greek life at 
least ; and soon the philosophers came to have much to 
say of man and human lots. But structurally philos- 
ophy had not yet come to include ethics. Consequently 
the philosophers' views of life, their ethical opinions, were 
merely penetrating utterances of wise men, unrelated in 
systematic thought. Democritus first earnestly endeav- 
ors to bring his ethics within the justification and reason 
of his scientific hypotheses. Nor was philosophy as yet 
clearly conscious that it, philosophy, the search for 
widest knowledge, was the most comprehensive element 
of life's entirety, nay, that it was the unifying principle 
which made a man's life a whole. 

To Democritus may be ascribed the last earnest attempt 
of philosophy to solve the problem of the universe, and 
without preliminary investigation of thought. Sco'mfully 
had Heraclltus and Parmenides been at one in deriding 
the testimony of the senses, yet In their opposing systems 
neither had uttered a doubt as to the power of the mind 
to grasp farthest verity. More systematically, according 
to the greater enlightenment of his time, Democritus 
taught that the senses could not be true reflections of the 
qualities of objects, and he did not distinguish In princi- 
ple the action of thought from sensation. Yet he never 
meant to impugn the value of thought's subtler mech- 
anism. 

None other of Democritus' time had his hardihood. 



316 



Al^CIENT IDEALS. 



Those who pursued physical inquiries gave up the ^reat 
quest, contented themselves with following up the 
branches. Hippocrates advanced the science and art of 
medicine, and others less famous pursued each his own 
inquiry. Those whose physical inquiries were of a gen- 
eral nature were, like Diogenes of Appolonia, eclectics. 
Besides these, a numerous class of clever men, perceiving 
the contradictions of philosophic systems, abandoned 
serious investigation of such matters and turned to sen- 
sation as the guide of man. Inspired by lower motives 
they sought to teach things useful — for a price; and were 
called Sophists. None other of Democritus' time had 
his hardihood. Only one had his earnestness — Socrates. 
He, not content with Sophist views and Sophist teach* 
ings, was to institute a lowly search for the elements of a 
knowledge beyond sensation, which should be valid for 
all. Democritus stood the last of a line of mighty physi- 
cists. Socrates, older in years, came after him as the 
prophet of an era wherein the human mind, conscious of 
its aberrations and weaknesses, should strive to know 
itself, then turn this new knowledge into means of reach- 
ing the great verities more surely. 

The Sophists were men to whom the attainment of 
absolute knowledge or truth, and action right for all. had 
become unreal. They turned to a crass utili- 
tarianism, seeking the apparent best for them- 
selves, and seeing no higher standard of truth 
than as things seem to the thinker, no higher standard 
of action than its success. With a certain youthful pleas- 
ure in the newly perceived contradictions of unanalytic 
thought, they flaunted a callow agnosticism, and a posi- 
tivism of the crudest sort. Recognizing the limitations 
of human faculty, they held extreme positions regarding 
the consequent relativity of knowledge ; nor did they set 
themselves to the attainment of that which might be the 
truest and best under these limitations. Yet the Soph- 
ists played their part in the development of thought- 
The temper of the times was soured by the Peloponncaian 



The 
Sophists. 



CREEK PHILOSOPHY, 



1^1 



war, and any high hope of a united Hellas was shattered 
into enmities between those cities who followed Sparta 
and those whom Athens led. Men's characters deterio- 
rated; but the knowledge and experience bequeathed by 
the past was not lost. The most serious Sophistic out- 
come of the conflicting views of philosophers was Prota- 
goras' famous thesis: " Man is the measure of all things, 
of those which are, that they are, of those which arc not, 
that they are not." As for the gods, said he, " I do not 
know whether they exist or not; many things forbid this 
knowledge, the difficulty of the subject and the shortness 
of human life." Each man's opinions or sensations were 
the measure of truth and right and wrong for him. The 
Sophists held this to be the law of nature, therefore more 
unquestionable than the laws and customs of society, a 
view following their assumption that knowledge comes 
from sensation. This they did not clearly state, for, not 
having analyzed thought or sensation, they could not 
clearly distinguish or relate the two. Possibly they were 
influenced by the doctrines of the Atomists, who had 
declared secondary qualities of things to be mere pro- 
ducts of sensation.* 

Many men were dismayed, and fell back on stolid 
adherence to law and custom. They could not in argu- 
ment meet the Sophists, because they did not 
appreciate such truth as was in the Sophists* Socratei 
teachings. But Socrates, himself morally in phjiofoohT 
earnest as was no other of his time, recognizedgf Concepts, 
what truth there was in these ideas, and then 
went on, seeking to analyze and know the entire nature of 
man. Was there not some human faculty operating in 
all men in the same way, which was capable of reaching 
truth that must be truth for all ? This was the kernel of 
Socrates* inquiries,* the scope of which was to know him- 

* Tt is hard to say whether Democritns or PTDtagoru wm fint here. 

'Socrates muiit hsve been repelled from all tnqmries into the operations 
of nature, by the apparent failures of the physical philosophere. He re- 
garded nature as a system of means to ends, and from the adaptation <A 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



self— and thereby other men as well — and his (acuhies 
and capacities for knowing ; he sought to discover what 
it was he truly knew ; what it was that, if explained to 
others, they must also recognize and know. In these 
inquiries he was on the way to discriminate sensation 
from thought, from reason, the faculty whereby man 
attains truth true for all men. Sense Is particular, and 
each man's sensations are valid only for himself; thought 
is not particular, but necessarily grasps at the general 
concept, and concepts might be sifted of individual error 
until they became universal truths.' If this were so, there 
was a common ground of knowledge valid for all men, 
and human laws could be upheld against the law of man's 
nature, which merely meant his sensations, pleasures, 
pains, and passions. 

So Socrates spent his life inquiring into the nature of 
man, chiefly devoting his inquiries to the determination 
of concepts of the virtues and the application of these' 
concepts to life, in order to establish a system of scientific 
ethics. For moral questions were not to be treated as 
matters of custom and authority; but a clearly defined^ 
standard should be sought, that of knowledge tested by 
reason. " There are two things," says Aristotle,* " which 
must in justice be attributed to Socrates, the inductive 
method of proof, and the general definitions of ideas ; both 
of whidh belong to the first principles of knowledge." 

Virtue is knowledge; this was the basis of Socrates* 
ethics. Wisdom {aofpld) includes every virtue." Right 
knowledge and right conduct are the same {jtVTtfiaBia'), 

objects to their oses be inferred the existence of God, thas deduiag th«j 
cxhansUess ugument from dcden. He regarded God u the per 
rcuon mlinK the world, yet often spoke of the gods in the popnlor secie. 
and his piety was deep. — Xen.. Mem., iv, 8, ii. In prayer and &acri&ce he 
thought men should pray, not for special things, hut simply fu- that 
1* Kootl) helieving that the gods know best what that good U. — Xeo., JK^m**, 
i. 3. a. 

'See "Fexxict't Lfchtrcf om Gruk Pkihupky—" SoatXm^*' 

' Melapkytiet, iiii, 4. 

* Xen., Mem., iii, 9, 5. He did not distinguish 0O4>& Crom tfift^fMOtrr^, 
•oundness of mind, ib,, 9, 4. 



GREEK PRTLOSOPHY. 



319 



but quite different from good fortune (fvrw^wr).* Hence 
he argued on to the conclusion that no one intentionally 
does what he does not believe to be well for himself, 
which is to say, that no one intentionally does wrong. 
Socrates' argument appears personal to his character, 
and to his quiet consciousness that he could not know 
one thing to be right, and do the opposite' His view, 
moreover, was the philosophic outcome of the tendency 
from Homer down to identify wisdom and virtue.* 

So virtue in general is knowledge of the good,* Each 
virtue consists of the corresponding special knowledge; 
that one is pious who knows what is right towards the 
gods; that one is just who knows what is right and law- 
ful towards men; that one is brave who knows how to 
act properly in danger.* Just as knowledge was necessary 
to virtue, or rather indistinguishable from it, so was 
knowledge the essential means of a man's well-being. 
Wealth alone brought it not, since it did not enable its 
possessor to distinguish life's good and evil.' Socrates 
taught and lived a life of mastery over needs and 
desires ; without disapproval of moderate enjoyment, 

* Xen., Mem., iii. 9, 14. 

*"Hcwas so self-controlled that lie ncTcr set the pleasant before the 
good." Xeo., Mem., iv. 8, ij. Socrates had defined justice as that which 
conforms to law, Xen,, Mfm., iv. 4, 12, and by his death he vindicated his 
own consistency with his definition, showing that be would obey the Uws 
even when tbey wronged him. 

* The thoQgbt of Socrates that no one intentionally does what he thinks 
wrong, i. e., bad for himself, in no way conflicts with holding intent to be 
the criterion of guilt or innocence, See/oW, p. 333. Socrates' whole system 
proTCS this, and more particularly sach distinctions as that between txi- 
■xpaiia and evrvxta. Mem,, Ui. 9, 14. So ia the Apolagy he says : " If 
I corrupt the youth imwittiDgly, I ought to be instructed, not brought into 
court. " — Afioi., xiii. 

* Which is the advantageous, as the beautiful ia the osefol.— Xen., Mem., 
Hi, 8. 1-8. 

■ Xen.. Mtm., iv. 6 ; all this reasoning is more or less from the analogy 
of the arts. 

' Mem., iv. i. S- Socrates' ideal of virtue -knowledge is also seen in the 
aense of duty which he felt to examine and que&tion men as to their knowl- 
edge, and free them from their ignorance of how little thc>' knew. 



320 



ANCIENT WEALS. 



he held him who is freest from wants to be nearest the 
divine' 

There was nothing good and real within his ken that 
Socrates did not prize and revere. He set reason and 
virtue and the needs of the soul above the needs of the 
body, impressing on his hearers the transcendent value of 
that freedom which consists in the possession of a will 
always able to will the best, and renounce the less im- 
portant. Such a will must guide itself by knowledge 
of the best, without which freedom and virtue were 
manifestly impossible. It would have accorded nei- 
ther with his temperament nor his philosophic posi- 
tion to attempt to formulate the supreme good for 
man ; but from his life and doctrine it is plain that 
he thought it to consist in attaining the most com- 
plete knowledge of virtue, and in life according. Herein 
lay man's well-being, his happiness; the will perfectly 
free from bondage to wants and passions, able to use 
pleasure without regret at its absence, and guiding a life 
of virtue perfected in knowledge of what is virtuous. 

In Socrates, philosophy became self-conscious, and 
conscious of its relationship with ethics and all human 
life, active and theoretical. The Greeks did not sacrifice 
the rest of their nature to the development of one fac- 
ulty. According to temperament, one Greek would lay 
greater stress on one phase of life, another on another. 
A poet might cry out against the plague of athletes,* but 
what Greek would have been so impious, so untrue to his 
nature, as to decry the Olympian games, which educed all 
forms of human excellence, and crowned achievement of 
sinew with achievement of song ? Homer had praised 
wisdom as well as valor, that wisdom which brings suc- 
cess in war and peace; ' he praised virtue, — wisdom's self 

* Xen., Mem.^ i^ 6, i-io. Here was Socrates* HfUenism^ itifHiv ayanf^ 
Dotliing to excess, least of all the repulsive absardittei of ucetidnn. 

• Enripides, /■'rag., 284. 

■ Homer woul<i hftTc A youth ^t'-^tuf re /ui/r^tJ e^irm, Kfnfurifpd r« 
ipyeovy as Fhcenix uu^^t AcbUIcs, quick-wiucd and eloquent u weQ m 
valisnl.— //., U, 443, 



GREEK PHILOSOPHY, 



321 



— that absence of insolence and impious pride which 
brings overthrow. So down through all Greek literature, 
through Pindar, -Eschylus, Sophocles, Herodotus, wis- 
dom is glorified as well as might and beauty ; virtue is 
praised, and temperance and righteousness. But the 
sense of the perfected unity of all these comes first tn 
Socrates to glimmering consciousness, which becomes 
luminous in Plato. 

An understanding of Plato is not to be had from any 
grouping and exposition of the metaphysical propositions 
contained in the dialogues which bear his name. 

This is true, not because Platonism is a mood, „. , 

T . . , . , Platonic 

or anythmg so subtle, vague, or mystical as to parable. 

elude apprehension. But rather because the 
philosophy of Plato is not essentially exposition, but con- 
sciously partial apprehension of life. The works eluci- 
dating it, the Dialogues, are not so much attempts to 
state or reason out facts sensible or transcendental, as 
they are modes of illustration and suggestion. This is 
evident as to the many myths and stories and other means 
of concrete illustration. But it is also true of Plato's 
direct statements and more formal arguments. They 
also are parables, parables of dialectic, argumentative 
suggestion of all that Plato realized as transcending the 
formulations of language as well as mortal comprehen- 
sion. Plato is always conscious that the truth cannot 
be completely stated; his utmost endeavors are but to 
show" broken lights," half truths. And why? Not 
because life's phenomena are so complex and distracting; 
whereof he knows full well.' Rather because all truths 
are necessarily transcendent, touching mortal life, but 
one and all extending out beyond its range, beyond mor- 
tality, and so beyond man's comprehension. They are 
beams of light, only one end of which touches the mortal 
sphere. 

This general characteristic of Plato's philosophizings is 

' S«e Mr. Pater's suggestive chipter "The Genius of Plato," \vi Plato 
and Ptat<mism. 



323 



ANCIENT WEALS. 



in the way of form correlative to the fundamental substan- 
tial element of Platonism, the conviction of 

Piatoniam 



Coavictioa. 



the absolute reality of things spiritual* an 
absolute reality not limited by mortal life, 
but of which mortality is a passing phase. Thoughts like 
these last are definitely pointed in the PJusdo^ as suits the 
formal topic of that dialogue. But all of Plato's writings 
are along this line. His view of life, his reasonings, his 
standards, his opinions, all make for, sustain, suggest, 
implyj assume, this reality absolute and immortal. With 
him any full view of life involves the soul's imperishable 
being. 

Conviction of the reality of things spiritual is more 
than the foundation of Platonism ; it essentially is PU- 
tonism, and the various Platonic arguments, discourses, 
and images are expressions of it. Plato knew, Plato 
felt, that these things were, and also that they were too 
much for mortal vision ; not even he can know or tell 
them adequately. And so one notices in reading Plato 
that it is rarely the special argument that the master 
definitely believes or deeply cares for. ' Readily he 
changes his expositions and his arguments. Hb con- 
viction is as to that of which the argument is illustration 
and suggestion — no full statement ever; that could not 
be. Plato's fundamental convictions might not be com- 
pletely stated without ceasing to be what they were. 
His object is to show or suggest how these spiritual enti- 
ties, which he knows to exist, can be thought to exist or 
proved. But they do not stand or fall with the strength 
or weakness of each argument. 

Whence sprang this fundamental conviction, which 
indeed was Plato ? It sprang from no such arguments as 
illustrate or make it somewhat definite and detailed in 
statement. It was instinctive, that is to say. many- 

' Take, e^., nch a conclasion as that of the Memo, — ilrtve cumes to tti 
virtaous Gifa ucHpa. This U Plato's way of sapag. he docs not quite knov; 
does not quite tee. bat must at least refer a good thing to a better caaae. 



CREEK PHILOSOPHY. 



323 



sourced and myriad-rooted in all of Plato, in his whole 
nature and totality of experience. And in content it was 
a conviction that there existed complete and perfect and 
efficient prototypes of whatever he was immediately con- 
scious of in himself. It was faith, rather than the out- 
come of reasoning; and yet a dialectic faith, inasmuch as 
it was constantly referred to argument for support. 

Some of the factors of this conviction which was 
instinctive, yet sustained by dialectic, may be discovered 
in Plato's nature and education. All former Greek 
thought was taken up in him ; he more than understands 
it. Plato's habit of thought contains the training of all 
previous thinking; his thoughts include the content, the 
reasons pro and con^ and the analytic force, of previous 
opinion. His mind holds the power of thought, the 
weight of reasoning, the metaphysical insight, and all 
the speculative virtue of the definite philosophemes, of 
the Eleatic school.' The force of the contrary reasoning 
of HcracUtus is also his ; and he has drawn mental clear- 
ness from the power of repcllancy which lay for him in 
the materialistic doctrines of the Atomists. Likewise, 
not without its educational value, in enabling him to per- 
ceive as it were the severableness of thought from mat- 
ter, W.1S even Protagoras' extreme Sophistic view of the 
relativity and sense-perceptive character of knowledge. 
Combining and illuminating all of which was the dialectic 
training and the understanding of the nature of general 
definition, which was his from his own teacher Socrates. 

Then Plato was full Greek, caring for all of life, know- 
ing all desire and the passion with which beauty fires the 
senses. Hotly in love with every form of 
beauty, he argued down the allurements of D-ajr* 
poetry and art which he felt so strong within 
him ; and felt also to be lures drawing his eyes from con- 
templation of the realities of which the poem or the statue 
was but the image of an image. And queening his 
' Sm, e.^., Th4 ParftuHuiet, 



324 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



nature, holding all his loves and yearnings within its 
moulding, proportioning, beauty-giving power, was the 
intellect which searched and tested all he felt and loved 
and realized within him or without. His was the perfect 
Greek mind, clear-seeing and distinguishing, discriminat- 
ing, choosing ever the greater and the better, the endur- 
ing rather than such fleeting things as leave a sting, the 
veritable rather than the accidental and apparent, and 
above all choosing the real. And the intellect of Plato, 
searching through his nature, through his desires and 
loves and his experience, for that which was the best, to 
wit, that which was most real, and weighing everything 
in reason, — the intellect of Plato approves the farthest 
instincts of his soul, and testifies that the real is the 
intellectual, the spiritual, and not the matter of sense- 
perception — sense-deception rather. So reason sanctions 
and dialectic shall illustrate and further prove the real 
and absolute existence of things spiritual. 

With Plato mental conceptions become immediately 
matters of the sou!, properties or desires of the human 
personality. He does not entertain them in his mind 
separate and apart, disjoint from his desires. It was 
incidental to his Greek artist-nature that as bis reason 
forms its intellectual conceptions, they arc visualized, 
beheld, seen clear and distinct as entities. But what is 
the motive of this intellectual and imaginative process ? 
why builds he these conceptions ? The motive is desire, 
intense and passionate, to apprehend, grasp, and verily 
possess and have them, and so share in their reality. 
Therefore Plato's thinking is ardent with desire to reach 
and gain and hold the ideal which he is seeking to con- 
ceive. So Platonism, the master's own philosophy, is 
always something more than mere mentality ; it is of the 
whole soul rather than merely of the mind ; for in it 
are emotion and desire, transformed to spiritual appc- 
tition. Platonism is philosophy in the real first sense 
of loving wisdom, desiring to possess it. And this Iove» 



CREEK PHILO^iOPHY, 



which desires to possess wisdom and all the ideal con- 
ceptions of the mind, is the same love which is desire of 
fleshly beauty — Eros indeed — but purified in reason, 
mcntalized, so rendered spiritual. 

Thus with Ptato love is the principle of appetition and 
advance unto the beauties seen by the soul. It is the 
principle of all life, motive all -pervading, desire inextin- 
guishable, in the light of reason directing itself aright 
and aloft, purifying itself from passion's lower violence, 
bridling that passionate and slavish courser, dragging 
him back upon his haunches, lashing him onwards, up- 
wards to the goal of beauty absolute. And so love is 
that which should strain on until it grasp and hold the 
highest, best, the eternal spiritual.' 

Thus the fundamental elements of Plato's yearning 
after wisdom, of his life which was desire of the best 
and a straining unto it, were the firm convic- 
tion of the reality of things spiritual, and then P'»t«"i«m 
the always conceiving them as beautiful and 
good, and so to be desired with the entire strength of 
man. They are conceived and seen set always within 
the principle of their attainment, the vital principle of 
love. These two chief elements are supplemented by a 
third, vaguest of all and least supported by metaphor or 
illustrative argument ; this is the element of trust, per- 
sonal trust in these realities which the mind conceives 
and the soul desires, the element of personal trust in 
reaching them through love. This clement Plato feels 
as he feels the rest; it is the religious element strong in 
him, as in Socrates. But it might not address itself seri- 
ously to those gods of whom the poets sang, and other 
god no Greek ever quite reached. Ptato can visualize 
all but God. Him he knows not, neither understands 
God's more than respondent love of that which touched 
by it strains thereunto. Plato reached the highest idea, 
that comprehensive of most reality, the Idea of the Good 
' Tht$ is the mat let of tbo Phadriu aad the Sympasium^ see ant^^ p. 253. 



326 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



— which is almost God ; and with a deep sense of the 
righteousness and the aJl-controlling wisdom of It, he 
often speaks of God, 6(6? and Oiia ^oipa ; but he does 
not know the personality of the Idea of the Good, the 
fatherhood of God.' He has no adequate conception of 
divine personaUty to form the basis of a conception 
of the divine yearning love, and consequently in his 
thoughts of God there enters no devotion, no giving of 
himself. 

Yet though this last element be vague, the philosophy 
of Plato holds life whole ; clearly and consciously knowl- 
edge is no thing sought apart from life, nor sought with 
view to close advantage ; it is no mere guide of life. But 
the love of wisdom is life's formative element, being the 
spiritual love of all which intellectually seen is good, is 
beautiful. 

There arc certain other general considerations to be 
borne in mind regarding Plato's Dialogues, Thalcs and 
other pre-Socratic physicists were in their 
T.. _■- *'t" methods nearer to modem science than Socra- 
tes and Plato. For the early physical philoso- 
phy investigated — largely and crudely to be 
sure — and then formed hypotheses to account for facts as 
observed. In the course of time contradictory opinions 
arose, and the Eleatics began to use crude, though pos- 
sibly profound metaphysical argument to substantiate 
their physical hypotheses. Socrates felt the futility of 
such physical research, and the crudity of all previous 
metaphysical substantiations, which ^vas also made appa- 
rent by the criticism and methods of Protagoras and 
other Sophists. Socrates perceived the need, which he 
made obvious to all men, to criticise and define general 
conceptions and examine into the means and nature of 
human knowledge. There resulted the general dcfini- 

* Yet with PUto, God most b« obeyed ; He is riglitcoas : to fly %-vrwj aad 
become like Him \% to become }ust and holy and wise. See A^.^ 99; 
Tiuatetus, 176 : Statesman^ 171. 



physics of 
Defioitioo. 



GREEK PHILOSOPHY, 



327 



tions and the Socratlc dialectic method, two enormous 
gains. Thereupon the great spiritual transcendentalist, 
Plato, took up the method of his teacher and apphed it 
to the elucidation of that world of spiritual reality of 
whose existence his consciousness assured him. Thus 
were the Socratic definitions and dialectic transformed to 
metaphysics. Comprehensive was Aristotle's vision, but 
after him there was to be no longer any inductive form- 
ing of hypotheses to account for observed facts. Observa- 
tion was consigned to a long repose. Only after many 
centuries there came a counter-revolution, and men 
reverted to methods of observation and induction, no 
longer crude, haphazard, and unanalytical, but clear and 
ordered, with modes of proof perfected, all because of 
the human mind's long exercise in deductive metaphysics. 
With Plato, metaphysics was not barren. Incompara- 
bly clearer thinking, and more purely mental and 
spiritual conceptions of the mind and soul, came from it. 
So unformed were the ways of thought that definitions 
had still productive virtue; at all events, conceptions, 
when made clear through definition, helped knowledge 
to progress. Evidently Plato takes great delight in these 
new entities, these general concepts now for the first time 
marked off and definite, visible indeed.' He sees their 
many uses in philosophic elucidation, and employs them 
as elements of his metaphysical structures. They became 
direct representatives of reality, if not themselves real 
potencies. Herein his plastic artist-nature plays its part, 
and causes him to behold these reason's shapes almost as 
with the eye — with the soul's eye at least.' This indeed 
is indicated by the famous words so often used by Plato 
to express these things: iSia and e^rfof, both signifying 
primarily shape or form which may be seen ; and both 

' The simple fun in these new wa}ii of arguing and defining, and expodng 
mUcy, appears in early dialogues, the Eathydtmus for example. 

' Plato viiualixes, personifies the argument somcUmes, as in Prota^ras, 
361, where it is said " For if the argument had a human voice," etc. 



328 



AXC/EXT IDEALS. 



Modes of 

Plato'a 
Teaching ; 
the Idea*. 



from the same root with the unused present e/ffoi {t'ideo^ 
to see, of which o{6a, the perfect tense, meant I have 
seen, i.e. I know. 

Plato discovered the human sou!, in that he was the 
first Greek to apprehend clearly the human self in its 
essential spirituality. Within man and with- 
out, the spiritual was of the same essence. In 
man it lived as desire, courage or energ>', and 
reason; throughout the universe it lived in the 
form of types, or general ideas, intangible, 
hardly imaginable, but intelligible to the reason. Mate- 
rial things, although not mere figments of the human 
mind, were real only as imbued with the corresponding 
idea, and in so far as they were transitory and changing 
partook of unreality or non-being. With Plato, the true 
spiritual life, the life of a lover of wisdom, consisted in 
contemplation and in reaching up to the attainment of 
spiritual entities, existing beyond the philosopher's per- 
sonality. It was not thought of as an inner life, included 
all within the thinker's self. Subjective contemplation of 
spiritual things prevailed in later Hellenic times;' but 
with Plato spiritual life, instead of a retiring of the soul 
within its closet, was a flying forth to see the spiritual 
beauty of the universe and God.' 

In source the Platonic Ideas were the Socratic con- 
cepts, which Plato elevated from defined general notions 
to principles of being.' The Idea was the general concept 

' See ^/, diapter xi. 

' ^^ilc reading the following slight sVetch of the fonns tftken bf Plato'i 
Conception nf spintaal things, it were well always to remember, u pointAd 
out above, thai the forms and modes in which he thinks them are oot «»■ 
changing with him, and that with him ailment, like metaphor, b luc«fy 
Ulastration ; not adequate statement of iaexpressible realities. 

* riato was also influenced hj the doctrioea of Ileraclitus as to the Aux 
o( all sensible things, and by the doctrines of the Eleatics. which were 
more to his mind ; for he was repelled Intensely by the application of Hef*- 
dUiis* theories made by the Sophists. As agaiost Protagoras and other 
Sophists, Plato held thit sensation was not the soarce of knowledge, DOr tbe 
sensible the tiue and teal ; the second oegalire being almost identical im Ita 



CREEK PHILOSOPHY. 



329 



necessary to all kinds of knowledge, indeed inherent in 
the activity of thinking. A sensation is always particular, 
but to think the sensation is to place it in a class, and 
this class or genus is the Platonic Idea. But the Platonic 
Idea was more than this. Since spiritual things were the 
truly real and knowablc, the Idea was truly and objec- 
tively existent, an eternal reality which remained unaf- 
fected by the partial non-existence of its corresponding 
phenomenon, or by the contradictions contained in all 
concrete existence. Indeed the Idea was that reality 
through which the corresponding object became partly 
real and temporarily abiding. And since the Idea was 
reality, was true being, how could it be denied motion 
and life and soul and mind ? Hence it should also be 
regarded as power.* Thus the Platonic Idea, which we 
must conceive as the abstract and absolute quality, like 
absolute beauty, or as the type of the particular thing, 
like the general concept triangle, Plato also held to be 
the cause of phenomena.' Yet as Ideas in their origin are 
general concepts or genera, they are related to each other 
so that the higher or more general contains the lower or 
more particular. Yet the lower are not so merged as to 
be identical with the higher, but remain separate entities. 
Above all is the one highest Idea, that of the Good. So 
there is unity at the apex of the system and correlation 
throughout. The highest Idea, that of the Good, is 
equivalent to God; and God, not man, is the measure of 

consequences with the Brst. There caa be knowledge only of the absolutely 
existent ; of the non-existent there can only be the opposite of knowledge ; 
of that which partakes both of Being and non-Being, i.e., phenomenA, 
there can be only that which lies between knowledge and ignorance, i.e., 
opinion. — Rtp-t 476 c. As against the Elcatlcs, Plato held that Being was 
not so one and indivisible as to preclude the existence of many distinguish- 
■t>le realities, to wit, iliflereiiC iileaa. And Being, to be known, must be 
capable of being afTected or acted uimn by knowledge. True Being must 
liBve mind and reason, life. si>ut, and motion (Soph., 248), whereas the 
Eleatics denied it all these attributes. 

• Jvraniif SofA., 247 e. 

* Pkath^ i(x> ; PAiUbus, 26 e ; i^., 30. 



330 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



PUtoaic 
Physics, 



all things.' The Idea of the Good cannot be compre- 
hended under one term, as it at once manifests itself in 
another. It manifests itself in beauty, proportion, and 
truth. So Deity can only be known in some manifesta- 
tion, truth, or reason, or beauty, or in the sum total of 
the Ideas.' 

The corporeal cannot be produced through itself, but 
has its motion from mind. All things are due to a divine 
and intelligent cause.' The Creator " was 
good, and no goodness ever has any jealousy 
of anything; so he desired that all things 
should be as like himself as possible." * The motive of 
God's creative activity lay in divine love of Itself, of the 
Good, and the wish that all resemble It. The result ts 
the universe, which is a live being, containing the totality 
of things created, and itself the most perfect of them all.' 
Matter is the substratum of indeterminate extension, 
which attains to partial reality by impregnation with 
Ideas, — creative moulding Forms.* God, thinWng the 
intelligent better than the unintelligent, and that intelli- 
gence {yovs) could not exist in anything devoid of a soul, 
put the intelligence of the world into a soul» and this 
soul into the world as a body. This infusion of the soul 
brings order and proportion and beauty; reason imparts 
itself to the corporeal through the world-soul, which is 

' La-m, 7t6 c ; tee Ritter, Hittory 0/ PldL, toL il ; Zdler's Ptait, pL 

t85. 

* PhiUbiu, 64 e ; sc« >1sd Lawt^ 985 d. 
' Sofkul, 948. 

* Timaus, 39 e ; see also Laws, 896 e, etc. God, who is good, b the 
cause only of the good things in the world. — Rep.^ 37Q c. The Matetae&t 
{rom the Tim^m cited in the text spproaches the Christian coaccptioo of 
the divine love's initiative. 

* TfuHTM/. 30 c, 69 c. In it the stan arc the nohlest of created ftatuta, 
created gods, as the aaiverse is the une created God. Fram their aachaag- 
ing courses oiaa may lean to regulate the lawless movements of bis soaL 
— Timaus, 40 b, etc 

' Cf. Zdler's Plah*. p. 315, The mode of the comhmation of the Ida 
with matter, lo aa to prodnce the sensible, is doC cs^laiacd by PtalOw 



GREEK PmiOSOPBY. 



33« 



thus the indispc 



iple between the 



and Ethics. 



ale intermediate p 
Idea and the phenomenon.' 

The object of Plato's philosophy was the knowledge 
and attainment of the supreme Good. His dialectic and 
physics form the basis of knowledge on which 
formally depends his ethics. Plato reasons that 
all men desire their happiness or well-being, which consists 
in the possession of the Good ; the passionate longing for 
the lasting possession of the Good is Love. What is the 
Good ? The real is evidently superior to the unreal; and 
the Idea alone is real. The real Good is the Idea of the 
Good, which is the absolute, self-existent Good. Man's 
well-being lies in the realization within himself of Ideas, 
above all the Idea of the Good; this realization consists 
in knowledge, more especially in dialectic." And a life in 
accord with this conception of human good would be a 
life passed in contemplation of Ideas. But this, taking 
into account only dialectic or the science of Ideas, would 
disregard the more complete estimate of human nature; 
it regards the soul only as reason, and the soul consists 
also of courage and appetite, which are lower than reason, 
but cannot be ignored. Knowledge of the Idea, i.e.^ the 
realization of it within the soul, is only the highest ele- 
ment of human well-being; the next element is the 
bringing of the Idea — the Type — to harmonious and 
fitting manifestation in the sensible world as it exists for 
men; this is effected through the right condition of the 
soul, which is virtue. 



' See Zeller's Plafo, p. 341 et seq. The sool of man is wlf-raoved, esseo- 
tially the same as the world-sou), to whicH it is related as part to the whole. 
The human soul is almost identical with the Idea, ha? exirted and will exist 
forcrer, for life is of its essence {Phado, 105 d). aod. like the vrorld-soul, is 
the mediatiziDg principle berween the Idea and the phenonienon. But its 
high position is lost by its union with the body, and the degrading environ- 
ment of corporeality, which clings to it as sca-wccds to the di%-{ne visage of 
Ms-god GUucns.— '^^., 611 c. After death the soul shell receire its 
dc»erts through cycles of reward or puntsbmcDt.— ^^.,614, etc. 

• Sec Protagoras^ 35a d. 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



Virtue. 



Following Socrates, Plato identified virtue with knowl- 
edge, and at first held all virtue to be one.' Afterwards 
he admitted the value of practical and cus- 
tomary virtue, not founded on knowledge of 
conceptions; and, while continuing to recognize common 
elements in all virtue, he gradually came to distinguish, 
and at last settled upon a division into four cardinal vir- 
tues: Wisdom (fftxp/a). Courage {av6fxlci)^ Temperance 
{ijtafppoavvtf)^ and Justice i^^ixaioavvff). 

To see the nature of these virtues clearly, Plato looks 
at them first in the large, as manifested in the state, for 
they must be the same in the state, which is a collection 
of men, as in individuals. In the state there is (i) wis- 
dom or watchfulness in its rulers; (2) courage or spirit in 
its guardians, which is right opinion as to what is to be 
feared and what not ; (3) temperance, which is unanimity 
between the rulers and the governed as to which of the 
two shall rule ; and (4) justice, that principle which should 
exist in every person in the state, requiring each to do 
his own work and not meddle with many things. The 
human soul is composed of reason, courage, and apjwtite, 
and there arc four cardinal virtues of the individual, as of 
the state: (1) The individual is wise in virtue of that 
small part within him, which contains a knowledge of his 
true advantage, and issues instructions to the courageous 
element as to what is to be feared and what not. (2) 
The individual is brave in virtue of the courageous 
element of his nature when, through pleasure and pain, 
it holds him fast to the instructions of the reason. (3) 
The individual is temperate in virtue of the friendship 
and harmony of the elements of the soul, when courage 
and appetite agree with reason in regarding it as the 
rightful sovereign, and do not oppose its authority. (4) 

' In the Protagorat it is ugued at Hnt th&t rirtue cuinot be tai^fal ; b«l 
St Ust it is mode app&reut ttut the virtues, tempennce. jiuticc, and ccMtac*, 
are knowled^ and Lherefurc comamnicablc. Sec Protag., 361; ff. Mtm»,, 
63. 8<>. 



CHEE/C PHILOSOPHY. 



333 



The individual is just when each of the three elements 
docs its own work, and does not encroach on the prov- 
inces of the other two. 

Thus temperance is the attuning of the three elements 
to harmony; justice is the consequent performance of its 
proper function or duty by each element, and the conse- 
quent due performance of whatever work the individual 
has to do in life. And the discussion as to whether jus- 
tice or injustice is better for a man is as ridiculous as to 
ask which is better, health or disease.' Of these argu- 
ments from the Republic Socrates' closing words in the 
Gorgias afford, perhaps, a summary: "And of all that 
has been said nothing remains unshaken but the saying 
that to do injustice is more to be avoided than to suffer 
injustice, and that the reality and not the appearance of 
virtue is to be followed above all things, as well in public 
as in private life; and that when any one has been wrong 
in anything he is to be chastised, and that the next best 
thing to a man being just is that he should become just 
and be chastised and punished." ' 

Remembering that justice is primarily a harmonious 
and right condition of the soul, whereby each element 
duly performs its proper function, and that it 
is only incidentally dependent on performance *°' ^ ° 
of duties to others, wc may advert to Plato's Kno^ig^jge^ 
conception of the Socratic aphorism that no 
one does wrong voluntarily, which Plato reiterates in his 
latest works.' Virtue, with Socrates and Plato, consisted 
in the perfecting of one's own nature. The thought of 
duty to others was not germane, although it was only 
through doing no wrong to others that virtue, the perfect- 
ing of one's own nature, could be reached. The obliga- 

' See RcpubtUy 430 c to 446. GliLucon and Adymaotus bad demanded 
that Socrates should uphold the Intrinsic value of jastice to the possessor, 
and not argue that it brings more external advaotage than injuatice, citliet 
in this life or the next. — Rep., 367. 

* Gergias, 527, Jowett's tran&IatioD. 

* Laws, 860 : Tim<£Ui, 86 d. 



334 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



tion of duty might have been antagonistic to the dictates 
of reason, which guides a man to perfect himself ; so 
Plato would have been loath to recognize it, even had he 
conceived it clearly.' Manifestly every man seeks his 
own well-being or happiness, his good as he conceives it; 
no one acts voluntarily against his own good, though he 
may erroneously conceive some pleasure or the satisfac- 
tion of some passion to be advantageous, and so act con< 
trary to his good.' " When a man hates what he thinks 
good, and embraces what he knows to be evil, this 
disagreement between the sense of pleasure and the 
judgment of reason in the soul is the worst ignorance." ' 
Although holding that the unjust man is bad against bis 
will,* or through his ignorance, Plato recognizes that the 
legislator should distinguish between voluntary and invoU 
untar>' hurtful acts, and punish as crimes only the former.' 
There is no inconsistency here. True, the unjust man is 
bad — acts contrary to his advantage— only against his 
intention. But that has nothing to do with the volun* 
tariness of the act itself, and it is this voluntariness 
which the law regards as making a hurtful act a crime. 
Punishment with Plato is a deterrent from acting evilly 
in the future ; it is not vengeance, or even retribution;* 
no penalty of the law is designed for ill, but to make him 
who sufTers it better.' So with Plato expiation becomes 
one with the good of the wrong-doer. 

Philosophy is a purification of the soul from the affec- 
tions of the body,' and wisdom and knowledge are best; 

' See Kilter's Hitt, of Pkitosopky, toL ii. p. 387. 

* The unwUe mail does not what he wills (/^duA/rm), hot whal meaa% 
good to him {60x11) ; «nd this is often bad for him, while o( cooiw he villi 
or purposes a good (or hiioseU. — Gorgiat, 467, etc. 

' Lows, 6&9 a. 
*/*,. 860. 

* Ih., 661. etc. Crimes committed in a fit of sadden panloAa FlalD 
places half-wa^ between TolaotJUy and inrolnQtaiy acts. — Ih. 

* Protagoras, 324 a. 

^ Laws, 854 e. • pk^d§, 67 c 



GUMEK PHiLOSOPHY. 



the exercise of virtue in human affairs is also part of 
what is good for man. And finallj-Plato recog- 
nized pleasure, although this, from its indefi- 
nite nature, its lack of measure and proportion,' was 
likely to be so unrestrained and wild that one might 
better occupy himself restraining than indulging it. And 
yet, since a life without any sensation of pleasure would 
be hardly desirable,* complete human happiness must be 
sought in the life which with wisdom combines pleasures, 
not the more vehement which trouble the soul, but true 
and pure pleasures of knowledge and art and those 
accompanying health and temperance ; such are the 
hand-maidens of virtue.* Plato loved youthful beauty. 
The reader still feels a thrill at the entrance of the beau- 
tiful youth Charmides, when the staid but enchanted 
Socrates says : " If to thy beauty is added temperance, 
then blessed art thou, dear Charmides, in being the son 
of thy mother." * So is the beauty of Lysis made lovely 
by his lover's telling Socrates that Lysis will surely come 
to him, as he is fond of listening.' And it was Plato's 
artist-nature that led him to make of Socrates' last hours 
a death-scene whose beauty may be compared with the 
steles in the old Athenian cemetery, which now after two 

' S« PhiUius, 28 &, etc. ; 646, etc. 

* The Philtbttt discusses whether pleisure or Icnowledge ia the hij;be3t 
good for man. Pleasure without knowledge is not, Plato establishes this 
clearly, but neither is knowledge without pleasure. PhiUbus^ 10 e. 21 e, 
60 c, 63 e ; neither knowledge nor pleasure has sufficiency and perfection ; 
but knowledge is te:i thousand times nearer the good than pleasure, Pkilt' 
but, 67 a. Plato felt that none of those opposites which stand out so 
prominently in life could exhaust the conception of Good. — Rider, Hist, of 
PAH., ii, p. 394. 

> See PhiUbui, 61 b to 64 b. At the end of the PhiUbm PUlo thus 
classifies the Goods for man : first, measure and the measured and suitable, 
wherein lies the eternal nature ; second, the symmetrical and beautiful and 
perfect ; third, reason and intelligence or wisdom ; fourth, scieocesand arts 
and trae opinions ; and 6fth, pore and painless plessures of the soul and 
senses. — Cf. laws, 631 c. 

* Charmides, 158 a ; sec ib., 154 c, and ef. Xnophon'a Symposium, \, 8, 
■ Lysis, 206 d. 



33^ 



ANCTENT IDEALS, 



Afistotte's 
Ethical 
Distinc- 
tiont. 



thousand years again shed beauty and peacefulness, and 
a quiet freedom from anxiety as to all in this life or 
beyond.* 

With Socrates philosophy became formally concemcdJ 
with the well-being of man. He loved knowledge, but* 
identified it with virtue ; and one questions 
whether he would not have loved right-conduct^ 
more than knowledge, and knowledge rather* 
as an aid to it, if he had seen distinctions 
between the two. So Plato, entranced with 
the vision of perfection, human or divine,— call it the 
Good, call it the Beautiful, — pierced with that divinest 
of love's pangs, the pangs of philosophy, the guide and 
way to God, the light making Beauty visible, — the 
blessed Plato saw as one this great love which was the 
love of knowledge, the love of beauty, and the love of 
everlasting possession of the good. Unlike Plato, Aris-- 
totle was not lifted above analysis by the very sublimity^ 
of his intellect ; to analyze and systematize were his 
passions, for which he would, like his pupil Alexander,, 
bring the whole world within his grasp. Just as fully as i 
Plato did Aristotle regard every Greek object of desire : 
very far was he from confining himself to ethics. But 
while Plato's ardent genius fused all good things into a 
transcendental one, Aristotle's cool discriminating intel- 
lect saw their distinguishing traits, and, having analyzed 
them, systematized, yet never reaching the region of 
transcendent unity where his master dwelt. 

Aristotle was the first to draw a line between knowl- 
edge and virtue, knowing the good and doing it. WTio- 
ever knows what is good and from passion fails to do it, is 
incontinent, weak of will.* For virtue is a matter of the 

' riftlo would have s«t his picture of Socntes abore any work of pUstfe 
art, as having more of pure miad and e^^catcr freedom f rofu the dnn of 
matter. " To intelligent persons a living being is more tnily delhicmted by 
language and discourse than by any painting or work of art ; to tha rtntlri 
sort by works t)l%tL"—PoIiti(us, 177 b ; cf. Rtf,, viU, 599 b, etc. 

* }ii(k*fiuttktmt Ethitt, vii, i, 5, 



CREEK PHILOSOPHY, 



111 



will, not merely a matter of knowledge, although that is 
essential to the formation of a virtuous will. And virtue 
lies not in mere volition unrealized, but in action, habit- 
ual action in accordance with a virtuous will. Hence it 
is a habit depending on a steady preference of virtuous 
to evil acts.' 

More nearly Aristotle defined that habit wherein virtue 
consists, as a habit in the mean. This was a reproduction 
of the idea pervading all Greek life, ptr^^kv 
ayayj which Plato brought into philosophy in ^C*'^!'* * 

1 . . 1. • I • 11 H&Dlt iQ 

the guise of measure or hmit, or, more ethically ^^^ Mejui. 
speaking, moderation. Aristotle formally an- 
nounced it as the criterion of all virtue, for virtue consists 
in the absence of excess and defect. He explains that 
it is not the simple equidistant middle point wherein 
virtue consists, but the condition or action forming a 
mean relative to the acting subject, j>., the condition or 
action befitting and proper to him. 

Aristotle illustrates his conception by an enumeration 
of the different virtues; courage is a mean between 
cowardice and rashness; temperance, a mean between 
insensibility and intemperance; liberality, a mean be- 
tween illibcrality and prodigality ; high -minded n ess, a 
mean between humble-mindcdness and vainglory, and so 
on through the remaining virtues, magnificence, self- 
respect, mildness, wit, sincerity, and friendliness.' Great- 
mindedncss {/dtyaXot/yvxict), which may be regarded as a 
lofty and justified self-respect, is the crown of the other 
virtues, and cannot exist without perfect excellence of 
character {xaXoMayadin).' Aristotle's great-minded man 
cares not for the common objects of ambition, will 
attempt only great things, or remain inactive; he is open 
in friendship and hatred, but dissembles and shows not 
himself before the common herd ; he cares more for truth 

' Sec Nich. EthUs, chips, iv and v, and cf. U., x, viii, 6. 
* Of nil these, coorage appears to he the one containing the greatest pro- 
portion of duty. > McM, Ethics^ iv, 3, 8, 



338 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



than for opinion, and feels a just contempt forotheis; 
prefers to confer rather than receive benefits ; he wooders 
seldom, and is not disposed to praise, for nothing is great 
to him; he is not vindictive, forgetting small injuries; he 
cares not for personal talk ; he prefers beauty and what is 
honorable, to what is useful and profitable ; his step is 
slow, his voice deep, his language measured, for one who 
is anxious over few matters does not hurry ; he neither 
loves nor shuns danger, and in all failure and success 
will act in moderation, caring for nothing too much.' 

The Mi'tapkysus begins with the remark that all men 
are actuated by a desire for knowledge. This desire for 

knowledge for its own sake, for wisdom which 
Wisdom* (Joes not relate to ever^*-day life, Aristotk 
of^FU^l ^ regards as springing from the feelings of «-on- 
Csnses. ^^ *"*i Curiosity which possessed men after 

their immediate wants were filled, and found 
its first satisfaction in myths. That knowledge is to be 
regarded as true wisdom which is desirable for its own 
sake, rather than that which men seek because of its util- 
ity. True wisdom relates to causes and principles, for 
through these all other objects of knowledge become 
capable of being known; and especially it relates to final 
causes, for the sake of which things are what they arc, — 

' Pride, selfishness, and contempt for others are promincDt truts of 
AmtoUe's high-minded mui. The picture fore»hAdows the tine vhea 
Greek, patriotism became a name and public life on tgnomiay. and aen 
sought through philosophy to sever theaiselves from the TicJaaiDCB nd 
troobic about them. After speaking of these Tirtncs, Aristotle apvaks of 
jostice {Nith. Etkits. bk. v), which he fint r^ards as lav-^bidingncac^ and 
as practicaUy comprehensive of all the virtaes. Juirticc in tbU (encnl 
sense is virtue in practice in society, and relates rather to the good ofotkcB 
than to the good of the subject. See Nick. Ethics^ r, I, 13. Afterwdf 
he disaisses justice in its two forms of distzibuttve and corrective jutioe. 
the first, awarding honors and rewards according to the merits of tW te- 
dpients ; the second, merely seeking to secure equality between 1^ per- 
sons concerned. Strict legal justice, in order to meet the coxoploity of 
life, most be tempered by equity (eaictKcTa) which correctt the law when 
it falls short by reason of its universality. 




I 



• 



I 




CREEK PHILOSOPHY, 



339 



since that for the sake of which a thing exists or an act is 
done, constitutes the good which is in the thing or act. 

Aristotle views the investigations of the early philoso- 
phers as searchings for the cause of the world, and he 
sees their great shortcoming in this, that tlie only cause 
conceived by them all, except Anaxagoras, was the 
material cause. He held that four causes or principles 
entered into either the generation or existence or cogni- 
tion of everything: first, the material cause, the elements 
out of which a thing is created; second, the efficient 
cause, or means by which it ts created; third, the formal 
cause, which is the essential character of the thing or the 
expression or form of what it is to be; fourth, the final 
cause, the end or purpose for which it exists. The final, 
which tends to become one with the formal, most truly 
explains a thing; and the final and formal may both be 
identical with the efficient. Stating the matter in other 
terms, the object of philosophy is to know existence as 
such; ' to know the causes of a thing, the primary mat- 
ter, the formal nature, the moving power, and the final 
purpose, is to know the thing which they constitute. 

Knowledge pleases in proportion to the grandeur of its 
objects ; says Aristotle,' knowledge of the heavenly bod- 
ies is most sublime, even a little of it more fascinating 
than all science, as the smallest glimpse of a beloved 
beauty is more delightful than a full view of ordinary 
things; yet "we ought not to shrink with childish disgust 
from an examination of the lower animals, for there is 
something wonderful in all the works of nature; and we 
may repeat what Heraclitus is reported to have said to 
certain strangers who had come to visit him, but hung 
back at the door when they saw him warming himself 
before a fire, bidding them come in boldly, for that there 
also were there gods ; not allowing ourselves to call any 
creature common or unclean, for there is a kind of beauty 
about them all. There is a per\'ading purpose in the 

1 Mita., iii, i. * Dt Part. An., I. t. 



340 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



works of nature, if anywhere, and the realization of this 
purpose is the beauty of the thing." Aristotle saw the 
beauty of the individual thing in the realization of its 
share in the purpose of universal nature. His passion for 
analysis and classification was most ardent ; his genius 
therefor has never been equalled. His intellect yearned 
to grasp the sum total of existence in its adequate causes 
and complete concatenation, and he endeavored to sys- 
tematize all the detailed phenomena it held. 

Life offered nothing better than this high and ordered 
knowledge. But what about pleasure ? was that also 

desirable? and did it come with knowledge? 
Aristotle's Plato had shunned excluding pleasure from his 
Pleasare. complete view of good ; yet he had regarded it 

for the most part as the mere abatement of 
some physical and painful craving. Aristotle thought his 
master wrong. Pleasure is rather the natural and sure 
accompaniment of the perfect exercise of any faculty, 
which comes whenever the faculty attains its end, reaches 
a more perfect existence, passes from potentiality to actu- 
ality. Thus, for example, reason is the highest, the most 
exclusively human faculty; acquiring knowledge is the 
mode of its exercise, and therefore in itself gives pleas- 
ure.' But pleasure is not the intrinsic perfection of a 
faculty, which rather consists in the habit acquired 
through continuous deliberate preference; pleasure is an 
end distinct from this, a good thing added to the attain- 
ment of some other perhaps greater good.' Some pleas- 
ures are better than others. Those which are only such 
to the evil man arc unworthy of the name; and in every 
case the Bnal standard is the judgment of the good man/ 
But Aristotle is no utilitarian; his conception of the 
highest good is not hung upon pleasure and pain. It 
must lie in the perfection of human faculties ; pleasure is 
merely a happy incident thereto. No one, says he, 

' See Peetitt. 4 ; Nkk, BtkUt, %, ^. 

*Nick. EtA.,M,4. •/»..». 5- 



GJIEE/C PHILOSOPBW 



341 



would care to live his life out with the intellect of a 
child, taking pleasure in childish joys ; nor would one 
delight in doing anything disgraceful, though no pain 
from it were ever to come to him. Men should be dili- 
gent in the pursuit of virtue, though it bring no pleasure.' 
But he sees no good in pain, nor even in toil, save in its 
results, for all toil is painful." The virtuous man will 
make a moral use of poverty, disease, and other evil 
chances in life; still, well-being does not lie in these, but 
in their opposites.' 

Man's highest good must evidently be an end in itself 
and not a means to something else; it must be in- 
trinsically part of his nature, and not consist The 
in circumstances nor depend on them.* Rather Summam 
it consists in the unimpeded activity and reali- Bonum, 
zation of his highest faculty, his highest nature, which is 
characteristic of man alone and not shared with plants 
and brutes : this is reason, which is also the human faculty 
least dependent on circumstances, and capable of exercise 
in every station in life; and as tt can be exercised more 
continuously than any other faculty, it promotes the 
man's happiness during the greatest length of time. 
Hence the highest life is the fiios Onjoprjrixosy the philos- 
opher's life of thought ; which also is nearest to the 
divine ; for we cannot conceive of God as exercising the 
ordinary virtues, but only as contemplating and reasoning 
eternally. This "would be perfect human happiness, if 
prolonged through a life of full duration. Such a life, 
however, would be superhuman, for it is not as being man 
that one will live thus, but by virtue of a certain divine 
element subsisting within us. Just as this element far 
excels our composite nature, so does its operation excel 
action according to the moral virtues. Reason in com- 
parison with man is something divine, and so is the life of 
Reason divine in comparison with the routine of a man's 

' yuh. Etk.. X. 3. ■ PoUtUs. rli. 13. 

•/*.. lii. ix. « ty. /*., vii. I. 



34* 



ANCIENT WEALS. 



life. One must not, however, obey those who bid us 
think humbly as being mortal men; nay» rather we 
should indulge immortal longings, and strive to live up 
to that divine particle within us, which, though it be 
small in proportionate bulk, yet in power and dignity 
far surpasses all the other parts of our nature, and is 
indeed each man's proper self. By living in accordance 
with it our true individuality will be developed, and such 
a life cannot fail to be happy above all other kinds of 
life."* 

The next best life is one devoted to the practice of the 
ordinary virtues. This is inferior to the highest, inas- 
much as the virtues are generally connected with men's 
passions and corporeal nature ; and this life is too depen- 
dent on circumstances ; for the liberal man will need 
money^ and the brave and temperate man opportunities 
for the exercise of his virtue. But the philosopher, with 
a little of this world's goods, has enough wherewith to 
live a philosophic, which is the highest life. And Hving 
thus he is likely to be beloved by the gods, who may be 
supposed to take pleasure in what is best and nearest 
their own natures.' 

Aristotle's works leave the impression that his convic- 
tions did not transcend his reasoned statements. He is 
always serious and rational, and his arguments 

TheCoraingg^gj^ to contain all his philosophy in a way 

ScvcriLQcc 

of Life. entirely different from Plato's frequent use of 

argument to shadow forth what no man might 
express. Aristotle's analysis penetrates wherever his 
thought reaches ; consequently he distinguishes and classi- 
fies what Plato, from a sense of the wholeness of Ufe's 
transcendent reality, had seen as many-phased and many- 
colored, but as essentially one. Aristotle still cares, at 
least theoretically, for the manifold of Greek life, and his 
wide classifications comprise it all. But the whole is 

» Nith. Eth., X, Tli, uan. by Sir Alex. GnuiL 
»/*..x. 8. 



GREEK PHILOSOPHY, 343 

severed into parts, and his philosophy opens the way for 
men to select one part of life rather than another, rather 
than the whole. Perhaps life's inner inseverable whole- 
ness is weakening with Aristotle ; and quite naturally 
after him come smaller men, missing life's completeness, 
content with following a part. 



CHAPTER XI. 



LATER HELLENISM. 



IN the bounding strength that Athens felt after throw- 
ing off Persia, development was quickened. Her 
decades were as centuries. Rapidly she lived 
through phases of achievement and reflection ordinarily 
filling long periods in a people's life. The same men saw 
i-Eschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. Some 
Atheni and ^^f ^j^^ causes which made her decline as rapid 
tbeoes. ^ ^^^^ growth arc not far to seek. She broke 
her power in the Peloponnesian war; her citi- 
zens grew loquacious; their spirit of devotion to the city 
waned with their faculty of action; they were engrossed 
with pleasure, with their individual interests and thoughts. 
And when afterwards Thebes had roused herself for a 
mighty fling at Sparta's throat, and then sunk back to 
Bccotian lethargy, and there was no one but Athens to 
take the lead against Macedon, she had no capacity for 
such continuous self-denial and exertion, as were needed 
to uphold her freedom and that of her rancorous neigh- 
bors against the untiring king. As late as Philip's time, 
Athens understood strenuous exertion, she had still con- 
ceptions of the glory of civic achievement, \Vhen roused 
by the ai^uments of her last citizen who possessed ele- 
ments of greatness, she could act with ephemeral encfgy ; 
but enduring strength was hers no longer. 

There was no lack of intelligence, no failure to appre- 
ciate the crisis, or at least the danger. DemostheDCS 
foresaw it all, and urged many fitting measures. HU_ 

544 




LATER HELLENISM, 



345 



countrymen understood his arguments,. But Demos- 
thenes did not realize the weakness of the time, and 
thought it still possible, as in the days of Themistocles, 
by pointing out the wisest course, to persuade men to 
follow it. He himself had no great capacity for action^ 
nor courage. He was open to bribery, except on the 
main issue between Athens and Macedon. After his 
death the Athenians inscribed on his monument : 
** Hadst thou for Greece been strong, as thou wert wise, 
the Macedonian had not conquered her." It was also 
necessary that Greece — Athens — should have been strong 
for herself. 

There was a final flash of glory. Athens rose at 
Cha;roneia; and after the event, when all was lost, 
Demosthenes struck the highest note: Athens has done 
nobly, she has not betrayed Greece; she has exposed 
herself for Greece at the point of danger. This was like 
the men of Marathon and Salamis. Here was her glory, 
in her high endeavor; that she did not succeed was the 
will of fortune, in whose hand lies the event always, 
strive a man never so strenuously. So Athens though 
unsuccessful was not inglorious nor unblest.' But the 
truth was, Athens had not striven as she needed to strive, 
she had not run the long course strongly, but had made 
a vain spurt at the end. And thereafter her efforts were 
slight as compared with Chaeroneta. Perhaps she knew 
her impotence. 

After Philip, Alexander; then the Diadochi. Nothing 
could be done against them ; but Athens could flatter, 
and her flatteries, savored with the memory of the flat- 
terer's great past, were grateful to these newly risen 
kings. Thirty-one years after Chceroneia, Athens paid 
her adulations to Demetrius Poliorcetes. He gave her 
large presents of food, gave her freedom, a gift which a 
people cannot hold unless able to grasp it ungiven. The 
freed city hails her deliverer: — " The other gods are far 

* See Oem., De Corona, 261-366, %n&pasnm. 



34^ 



ANUENT IDEALS. 



off, or have no ears, or do not exist; but thee we see 
before us, not in wood or stone, but in life. Guard and 
preserve us, dear one ! " And they iodged the new god 
in the Parthenon, to indulge his lusts in Athene's temple 
One Demochares, nephew of Demosthenes, was the last 
Athenian attached to the democracy. When he died his 
son asked the city to decree him a statue, relying on his 
public deeds, which were begging missions he had well 
performed, getting many presents of money and com for 
the Athenian people from the Kings, Ptolemy, Lysi- 
machus, or Antipater. 

If such was Athens, what of the rest of Greece ? 
Thebes was utterly crushed, and showed no courage after 
Chaeroneia. There \vas some strength of 
of Greece obstinacy left in Sparta, who fought off Pyr- 
rhus, as she had Epaminondas; and once 
more, under her hero-king Cleomenes, she made a short 
brave struggle. But the isolated endeavors of small 
Greek states might not prevail against powerful monarchs. 
Even had he not been beaten at SeUasia. Cleomcnes, 
could hardly have resisted Macedon after Egj'pt stopped 
her subsidies. It bears witness to the stanchness of the 
Spartan folk that its decline produced such men as he 
and his predecessor Agis. Yet the energy of a few is 
impotent to arrest a state's decay, and individual great- 
ness often appears grotesque, or turns to evil 'midst the 
general sloth and selfishness. Vain were it to expect 
Spartans to sacrifice their wealth, and return to the black 
broth of the public mess. The heroism of the young 
King Agis, the unselfishness of his mother, make a bright 
picture; for the results produced, it might as well not 
have been. Likewise in the end, Clcomencs could but 
gnaw his heart in Egypt, and fall on his sword. 

The Ach^an league promised more. The federal idea 
is not of early growth. In ancient times a city-state had] 
been able to resist other cities or larger powers, as Tyre 
did, or it had not. In the latter case it was destroyed or 



LATER HELLENISM. 



347 



incorporated into an empire. No thought had come 
of federating with other cities to gain the permanent 
strength of many without giving up the autonomy of 
each. In classical Greece, where there were only city- 
states, it was easier for each to preserve its liberty; and 
but slight indications of confederacy appear, as, for exam- 
ple, among the unimportant towns of Acarnania and 
Phocis.' The federal idea gained strength when Greece 
was in her decline, and surrounded by kingdoms against 
whom the united strength of her great days would have 
been needed. Then too late was adopted the expedient 
of federation, to drive out tyrants, resist Maccdon, and 
preserve civic freedom. After Stcyon joined, the success 
of the Achsean league was considerable under the ener- 
getic leadership of Aratus; perhaps its aims were broader 
than was common with the city-states of Greece. Yet it 
was Aratus who, through hatred of Cleomenes, called on 
Macedon for aid against Sparta, and so dashed any hope 
there might have been for a free Peloponnesus. On the 
whole, the Ach.'ean league is of interest chiefly to the stu- 
dent of comparative institutions. 

So the decline of city patriotism throughout Greece 
left no idea in its place strong enough to preserve an 
efficient love of liberty. The frequent royal proclama- 
tions, inspired by policy or sentiment, declaring the 
Greek cities free, were mockeries. Greek city-states as 
such had ceased to be respectable.' 

Happily the time has more to offer than the political 
degradation of Greek cities. Fruitful in many Hellemsm 
ways was the century following Ch^roneia, and the 
during which Hellenic thought spread abroad, East, 

and was acted on by foreign influences. Even Hellas 

' In those days the Boeotian federation mennt mostly Tbebes, The cities 
ftdhering to Athens were subject to her, and Sparta cither ruled subjects or 
was fnllowcd by Independent allies. 

' For Greek history during tliet« times, see MabafTy, Gruk Life and 
TkoM^hl from Aiexand<r*s Time; Droysen, Geichichte da HeUenismm ; 
Holm, CrucJUscA* GetchicAu, Band iv. 



348 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



had much to learn from the rest of the world. Was 
there not something to gather from Asia, from Syria, 
from Egypt ? Intercourse with the world outside might 
teach the kinship of men, and that some of her own 
thoughts were prejudices. And although the Hellenic 
city could do little against the power of the monarchies 
into which the world fell after Alexander's death, the 
Hellene himself could live and prosper, could Icam new 
things, 6nd new pleasures, and nerve himself with phil- 
osophy to enjoy or do without contentedly. If in the 
world he was powerless, there should be a peace within. 

The bounds of Hellas were narrow, although spiritually 
they embraced the Greek cities in Italy, Asia Minor, &iul 
the islands. Beyond, all were barbarians, among whom 
towered the figure of the Great King. Hellas and Persia 
were set over against each other in thought and life, as in 
arms. This idea dominates the history of Herodotus, 
much as he found to admire in the non-Hellenic world. 
In time there were some slight interminglings, Persia 
surrounded, when she no longer ruled, the Greek cities 
of Asia Minor. Then came Greek inroads into Asia — 
Xcnophon and his Ten Thousand, and Agcsilaus. The 
Greek — witness Xenophon's Cyropedfia — found some- 
thing to admire in the Persian past, if not in the Persian 
present. These matters, and especially the ease with 
which Greeks could overcome Persians in battle, were 
forerunners of the great opportunity which came tx> 
Alexander. Far was he from being a pure Greek. Above 
all, his regarding himself as superhuman on account of 
his great successes was non-Hellenic; that was vfip^t 
and countered the principle of ^uj^ir ayav. Alexander 
was less of a Greek than PhiHp would have liked to be. 
But he saw that the only way to make his empire per- 
manent was to fuse Greek and Persian. This was his 
great idea; and his Persian garb, his requiring Persian 
servility from Macedonians and Greeks, his Persian wives, 
his desire to see his officers become Astatic, — all these . 




LATER HELLENISM. 



349 



iotngs, which Greeks thought barbaric, had this end in 
view. 

In a deep sense he was successful. It may be doubted 
whether, had he Hved, he could have given such soUdarity 
to his conquests as would have held them together as one 
empire for imperial successors. But he did extend Hel- 
lenic inilucncc, and set such an example of cosmopolitan- 
ism to his officers as enabled them to hold his conquered 
world as huge Hellenistic kingdoms.' Macedonians and 
Greeks became such constituent elements of that world 
that indigenous populations of Asia, Syria, or Egypt 
might not at all events expel them as foreign. This was 
a gain for Hellenism. Alexander's generals and their 
successors, with their followers and advisers, from foreign 
conquerors became the ruling class of the country, and 
thus held their ascendancy. 

The city-states of classical Greece demanded many 
capacities in their citizens. An Athenian had to be 
judge and juryman and legislator, a speaker, 
and a soldier who might be called on to com- ^P"'*'|^*' 
mand on land or sea. His life gave him ready 
powers of judgment and decision, and made 
him good at need in every emergency. A citizen of 
Athens's great days got a complete education from his 
daily life. What was true of Athens was true of the 
other Grecian cities. The Greek ideal of developing the 
entire man, body and mind, is nearly connected with the 
requirements and opportunities of Greek civic life. 

Progressive conditions caused a gradual specialization 
of faculties even in great Greek days, which also may 
be traced at Athens. Miltiades, Themistocles, and Aris- 
tides were statesmen as well as generals. So to an extent 
were Cimon and Vericles; yet Cimon was more of a mili- 



tioo of Oc- 
cupations. 



'"No sooner bad Alexander subdued Asia, than Homer became an 
aathor to high esteem, and the reni-in, Susian, and GedrosiAn youlh sang 
the tragedies of Sophocles." — Plutarch, Fortune of AUxtmder . Alexander 
Tnointained his nilc bjr chanpng his garb. lb. 



«iO 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



' »aval leader, Pericles far more of a statesman. 
^ ^tas and the elder Demosthenes were even more 
exclusively geneiab, but Cleon a politician altogether, 
wiko was once made general by an accident. A little later 
l|>btCrutc:» and Cbabrias were strictly professional sol- 
Uicrs-; then Demosthenes and ^schines were orators, and 
never led an army. Phocian was the last Athenian to be 
IxuuuiK'nt as an adviser and a general too, like Aratus, 
wh^ for years was the leading statesman and general of 
Uk Achcean league.' The best warriors of these later 
ttHM9 became mere fighters, like Philopcemen or Pyrrhus, 
df«9|lising the quiet pursuits they saw carried on by efTem- 
iOfttc persons. No longer were they " Mars's and the 
Muses' friend," as Archilochus would have had men. 
One result of this specialization was the abandonment of 
war to professional soldiers. The growing disinclination 
of the better class of Greeks to fight caused the employ- 
went of mercenaries, with whom citizen levies could 
hardly contend; and the habitual employment of merce- 
naries increased the citizen's inaptitude for war. More- 
over, the subjection of Greece by Maccdon, Alexander's 
conquest of the eastern world, and the subsequent 
formation of great Hellenistic kingdoms, enormously 
hureascd commerce and international intercourse. Hence 
«4kch city and each man was not called on to do so many 
thli^^^r but rather followed some single occupation. So 
cverj'thing fostered a specialization of human faculties, 
(ind the old Greek ideal of the completely developed man 
WAS tost sight of. 

There was another effect of this growing intercourse, 
tht* formation of great kingdoms having so many ele- 
ments of similarity, and this dropping of local 
prejudices and increasing recognition of a com- 
mon humanity every\vhere. Men's kindly 
curiitftity widened, their loves narrowed. Heretofore the 
tVcck had loved his city passionately and had been 

' A rerf poor general he w«*. 



Itidtvld- 



LATER HELJ^mSM. 



351 



engrossed in the life within its walls. Now he was inter- 
ested in the world. Few can love anything so extensive; 
and since the city had become to the Greek merely his 
abode, he loved himself. Loyalty to a kingly house was 
hardly developed, while the kingdom over which the 
monarch ruled was too new, too broad, too vague and 
changing in its bounds to rouse a Iovl- of country. Nor 
could the new Hellenistic cities, like Alexandria or Anti- 
och, develop it. They were not cities in the old Greek 
sense; there was no civic life in them, no political inde- 
pendence. They were merely centres, whither men from 
all parts and of all races thronged because they were 
pleasant or profitable to live in, utterly different from the 
old city-state, that greater unity of its citizens* lives and 
interests. Alexandria or Antioch might be a theatre for 
mob-passion or race-hatred ; but they offered no ties, only 
advantages of residence. When these ceased, the resi- 
dent moved elsewhere. There could be no citizens of a 
city which was merely the centre of a kingdom and the 
seat of its absolute monarch. 

Thus private interests were gaining at the expense of 
broader devotion. It was not a time of fading spiritu- 
ality; but rather a period when spiritual and intellectual 
conceptions were spreading among men. Scepticism 
existed; yet a thoughtful regard for the divine floated 
above the common polytheism. Following prevalent 
tendencies, the popular systems of philosophy were 
individualistic; for each man the standpoint of con- 
templation was himself. One result was a deepening of 
the self-conscious inner life of the individual. 

A maiden's love is never the main topic of the earlier 
and greater Greek poems; but always auxil- 
iary to the heroic action of the piece, 
narrative of Nausicaa is less for its own sake Lore ; the 
than to prepare for Odysseus* kind reception '^J'w 
among the Phaeacians and help on the main 
story of the Odyssey, The poet's mind is on the hero's 



™. TheLitcra- 
1 ^^ tare of 



ANUENT IDEALS. 



adventures; very far is he from the thought of a love- 
talc. Likewise in the fourth Pythian ode, Medea's love 
is told as incidental to Jason's achievement. Pindar's 
heart was set on deeds endued with the universal signifi- 
cance of the heroic ; his poems could not descend to 
those joys and comforts which, although common in hfc, 
seemed of importance only to the lovers. 

Easily to dwell in regions of the ideal is not possible ' 
for mankind. That requires, even in those who love it, 
a conscious tension and reaching out of thought aloft and 
afar, away from home, as it \vere; for home consists of a 
man's own, what is not another's nor the world's. And 
when people have once beguiled themselves with little 
pleasures and interests and pictures suited to their nar- 
row hearts, still more wilt it be difficult to leave them. 
When once an art or a literature contracts to specializa- 
tion and realism, it will ever aftenvards lack the far vision 
which discloses the ideal. When the Athenian people 
had been pleased with Euripides, never again as a people 
could they care for wEschylus and Sophocle*. Aristoph- 
anes' complaint in the Frogs that Euripides had made 
love the great subject of tragedy, might have been shriller 
had he foreseen the long line of followers who should 
outdo the master. Aristophanes, forsooth, might not 
stem the tide. His own great comedies drew their inter- 
est from public matters; witty were they and bitter, and 
beautiful in their bursts of lyric song. Their popularity 
fell with the Athenian commonwealth; and their place 
was taken by the polished domestic comedies of Me- 
nander.' 

Never had /Eschylus shown the spectacle of a woman 
in love! That was Euripides to become famous for. Yet 
the recreant dramatist was a master, who could portray j 
the passion of a Phaedra, the hate of a Medea. IJut he- 
often falls belows this height, and writes dramas like the 

' PlaUrch much prefers Mensnder to Aristophanes ; see hb compvuoa 
between Menandcr and jVristophanes. Morals, vol. iii. 




LATER HELLENISM. 



Andromache, wherein great names are used, while the 
characters are small, the interest domestic, and the plot 

I turns on petty modes of passion. Wc notice the grow- 
ing realism and elaboration of detail. The recognition of 
Orestes by his sister in the EUctra is interesting. Euripi- 
des makes her reject the tokens by which the heroine of 
jCschylus and Sophocles had known her brother, and 
require new signs having a paltry probability. It was 
important that she should recognize him ; the means were 
unimportant ; but it was also important that a tragic 

I heroine should not cross-quest ton like a lawyer. Euripi- 
des writes also romantic dramas, the Ion for example, 
where the interest is in the intricacy of the plot and the 
picturesque pathos and prettiness of the pUy.' A clan- 
destine love is the initial motive. Besides showing the 
individualistic, Euripides shows the spiritualizing tenden- 
cies of the coming time. He ts the first to analyze the 
moods accompanying love's passion, 
^h Euripides was one great forerunner of Alexandrian lit- 
erature, and through it of Latin and later Greek romance. 
But the Alexandrians, besides caring for what was roman- 
H tic and for the analysis of love's moods, wrote of its 
physical effect upon those on whom it came. Here they 
had forerunners who would have scorned to turn to trivial 
B conceits and sensualities the mighty Greek emotion for 
beaut>-, which included love's passion within its greater 
compass. No one had expressed this more intensely 
than Plato in his Phtgdrns.* But hear Sappho: "At 
sight of thee speech leaves mc. my tongue is broken, and 
straightway a subtle fire has run beneath my skin; with 
my eyes I see nothing, my ears ring, sweat pours over 
me, trembling seizes my frame, I am paler than grass and 
seem like to die." As the mountain wind falls on the 
oak, love bitter sweet shakes her. This is passion in the 

' The Htlen is an inferior pUy of the Mme t]rp«. For coropAriton of 
Earipides with hi!i predecessors see ante^ p. 230, and p. 3^. 
*SeetfM/^ p. a53- 

VOL, I. — IJ 



354 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



glorified form of love of beauty. It will spurn the base. 
*' Hadst thou felt desire for noble things, hadst thy 
tongue not framed some evil word, shame had not 
touched thine eyes, and thou wouldst have spoken out." 
So, tradition says, Sappho answered Alca^us when he 
addressed her: " Violet-weaving, pure, sweetly-smiling 
Sappho, I want to say something, but shame stops me." 
Sappho was of ^olian Lesbos, and she sings love's pas- 
sion, not its mental side, its sentiment or sentimentality. 
Hers is burning desire, and the rapture of beauty — of 
beauty the vision, not beauty the thought. So with 
other lyrists. Anacreon, for instance, at banquets, 
would sing of wine and love. He has the vision of rosy 
limbs, not so passionate as the pure /Eohan, but very 
beautiful. 

Lyric poems expressing a mood, would naturally 
press this master mood of all. It cannot even be alleged^ 
— such is the wreck — that the prototypes of love stories 
may not have been found by the Alexandrians some- 
where in the lost lyric poetry, most of which came not 
from Athens, but from those cities in Asia Minor or the 
islands, where love of pleasure had sapped strong civic life- 
Alexandria had no past. It was the royal capital of a 
kingdom and a commercial centre ; there met Greek, 
Jew, Egyptian, and stranger from any part of the worid, 
and there could each imbibe the thoughts and learning 
and follies of the others. No patriotism towards the 
city was in the hearts of its inhabitants, and little love of 
anything except themselves. AH took Uvely interest tn 
the world about them, living as they did where news 
and commodities, exiles, princes, and prostitutes came 
from Carthage and Libya, from Babylon and SjTia. from 
Asia Minor, the islands, from Macedonia, Greece, and 
Italy. As the Alexandrian soldiers and mob sought the 
goods and gossip of the present, so the Alexandrian 
scholars, grammarians, and learned poets sought the 
gossip of the past. Their serious occupations were learn* 



LATER HELLENISM. 



355 



ing and flattery of the king; their recreations were 
various; their most heartfelt passion was jealousy of one 
another. 

Alexandrian literature is throughout minutely learned 
as to myths, stories, traditions, and all the poetic and 
scientific achievements of the Hellenic past. In their use 
of this studiously gathered mass, the Alexandrians show 
their love of ail that might comfort or entertain the indi- 
vidual, and above all, their love of writing about love. 
They know every passion ever entertained by god or 
mortal ; they know the little variations of all traditions 
wherein love enters; they can turn the most unloving 
characters to lovers and the direst myths into love poems. 
No small thing to transform Cyclops to a sea-nymph's 
lover, as Theocritus does in a pleasant idyl. But, al- 
though studying the past, they break from it. Much of 
their poetry' could not, according to classical standards, 
be clearly classed as epic, lyric, or dramatic — forms which 
the Alexandrians mingled indiscriminately.' Many idyls 
of Theocritus are lyric in mood, but in form dramatic or 
epic; the Hymns of Callimachus, written nominally in 
praise of gods, really in flattery of Ptolemies, are epic in 
metre and structure.' The poems deviate from the past 
in substance also. Instead of great thoughts and achieve- 
ments, they tell of love and domesticity. The lengthy 
Argonautica of Apollonius Rhodius was meant to be an 
epic. Its author knew every phase and detail of the 
myth, and sought to weave them all into the poem. But 
its real interest is not in the heroic achievement — quite 
stuccoed over with sorceries and magic. Rather the in- 
terest of the poem with its author, with his circle of con- 

'SeeCouat, Poisie AlcxiiHdrin4,-p^ 395, and the same work for Alexandrine 
literature generally ; also Susemihl's exhatistive Gtsehichu des GriethUckfn 
Litieratur in der Ahxandrinfrxeit. 

* Heie they rcEemble the Homeric hymns, which are lyric in thonght. 
epic in metre— hexameter, but those may have been composed before 
other metres had come into use, nnd so before the strict divisions of lyric, 
dramatic, and epic poeiiy, recognued by the great lyric and dramatic poets. 



356 



ANCIENT JDMALS, 



temporary admirers and detractors, and with such as havir* 
read it since, lies in the story of Medea's love for Jason and 
the masterly delineation of the emotions and thoughts it 
brought her. Viewing the epic as a whole, and consider* 
ing what should have been its topic, the episode is bad 
art. drawing all attention to itself, sapping the rest of the 
poem of any interest the Alexandrian pedant may have 
given it. But this episode influenced literature; Virgil's 
story of Dido follows it. 

Every lengthy Alexandrian poem, whatever its subject, 
has a love-episode. Eratosthenes' astronomical poem 
yy>rwr^ diverts itself with the love of Hermes and Cypris. 
And Callimachus' j£tia, a handbook of the reasons of 
sacrifices and other ancient customs, contains perhaps 
the initial story of its kind in literature, the simple love- 
story that begins with the sudden passion of a youth and 
maiden, and makes its plot out of obstacles to their mar- 
riage, with which it ends. In this early instance the tale 
runs thus: Acontius was a youth and Cydippe a maid of 
marvellous beauty. Neither, though often wooed, had 
ever loved. Eros in anger strikes them with love for 
each other. The maiden's parents would marry her to 
another ; and thrice she falls sick from grief at her ap- 
proaching nuptials, while Acontius, having fled the city, 
wanders unhappy through the woods, telling the streams 
of his love and writing her name on trees. At last the 
maid's father consults the Delphic oracle, is told the 
cause of her affliction and ordered not to thwart the 
lovers. And so they are married. 

In these early love-tales, love comes suddenly. Thefc 
is no subtle delineation of the passion's growth. That 
would have countered old traditions of the ways of Aph- 
rodite and Eros, expressive of the common thought that 
love is .something one cannot help, which comes suddenly, 
it may be like an overpowering bane. Theocritus pul£ 
this in an idyl.' Daphnis, happy in his wedded love, 

» Idyl, L 




LATER HELLENISM, 



357 



scouts at Aphrodite's power. She sends on him a bitter 
love for another. " Uaphnis, methinks thou didst boast 
that thou wouldst throw love a fall ; nay, is it not thyself 
that hast been thrown by grievous love ? " Daphnis dies 
struggling against the passion. The Greeks are not the 
only ones who have thought thus of love; but, however 
this may be, with Alexandrian and Roman poets the 
idea of the sudden passion caused by the wiles of Aphro- 
dite or the arrow of Eros is a convention, after which the 
poet begins the real story, and tclU the feelings of the 
lovers, their love-burdened thoughts, and sometimes pen- 
etrates the psychology of the passion, displaying the 
doubts and fears and mental conflicts it may bring. 

Another matter in these love tales is the maiden's chas- 
tity. Clandestine joys throughout the story v-'ould deprive 
the wedding of all interest ; and such frailty would have 
lowered the greatness of a Medea and uncrowned her 
mighty passion. Beyond this, a conception of the beauty 
of chastity had place in the hearts of even these Alexan- 
drians; and the use they made of it in their poems went 
to prepare the place which women's virtue has since filled 
in literature. 

Though much of the love talk of Alexandrian pedants 
was frigid and artificial, there was one among them who, 
whatever else he may have been, scholar, pe-^ 
dant, courtier, was of his kind a poet always,' 
the father of bucolic verse, Theocritus. His poems were 
whiffs of country air, a reason why the Alexandrians liked 
them. And one notices hnw a big city, built on ugly 
sand-hills, breeds strong imaginative love of the country. 
Till then men had not known the lack of country sights 
and breezes, so had not known how they loved them. 
The Syracusan in Alexandria soon comes to conscious- 
ness of country delights, and fills his poems with shep- 
herdesses and goatherds, with the bleating of goats and 
the lowing of kine, the humming of bees and the low 
breath of summer breezes, with hours of sweet dalliance 



Theocritus, 



358 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



in reedy nooks: " Sweet, meseems, is the whispering 
sound of yonder pine tree, goatherd, that murmuretfa by 
the wells of water; and sweet are thy pipings." ' 

Many lovely pictures of nature are to be found in The- 
ocritus. Indeed, the pictorial element is entering poetry,' 
which will now invade the field of painting. The more 
frigid poets describe their heroes and heroines elaborately, 
but produce no clear impression. A truer artist like 
Theocritus does better with a line ; but perhaps his fellow- 
bucolic, Moschus, drew the most famous of all these pic- 
tures, in which human beauty is placed in a landscape, or 
rather sea setting: " Meanwhile Europa, riding on the 
back of the divine bull, with one hand clasped the beast's 
great horn, and with the other caught up her garment's 
purple fold, lest it might trail and be drenched in the 
hoar sea's infinite spray. And her deep robe was blown 
out in the wind, like the sail of a ship, and lightly ever it 
wafted the maiden onward." ' 

Theocritus has open eye and heart for the throng as 
well as for the secluded dell. A living picture of eager, 
thoughtless city life he gives in his famous fifteenth idyl; 
we can still hear the prattle of the women, and the noise 
of the streets, the prancing of bay steeds, and the irri- 
tated cries of pushed and crowded mortals ; and sec the 
splendid palace whither they throng, with its marvels of 
tapestry and its masses of treasure, the riches of great 
Ptolemy. 

Of course Theocritus' idyls are erotic ; all his shepherd- 
esses, his goatherds, his youths, his city girls, are in love 
or loved; they burn with passion or jealousy; they toy 
with love, or bewail his flight, or lightly lament a fair 
one's death. Love may be light, love may be heavy, it 
may be sweet or bitter, bring gladness or sorrow; but 

' Theocritos. IdyU i, Lang's transUtioti. 

* It too has a beginning with Euripides. See the opening chonts of tbr 
I<m. 

' Moschas, Idyl, ii. Lug's translation. RepresentaiJoDs of thb aad 
dmilar pictures are seen in the mil paintings from Pompeii, 



LATER HELLENISM. 



3 59 



rove it is always that fills the hearts of these rustics, who 
love each other as naturally as goats love the spring. 
There are echoes of Lesbian Sappho: " But I, when I 
beheld him just crossing the threshold of the door with 
his light step, grew colder all than snow, and the sweat 
streamed from my brow like dank dews, and I had no 
strength to speak, nay, not to utter as much as children 
murmur in their slumber, calling to their mother dear; 
and all my fair body turned stiff as a puppet of wax.** ' 
That lover was false, for which he shall knock at the 
gates of Hades, vows the maiden ; for herself she will 
endure as Sappho might have borne; "But do thou fare- 
well, and turn thy steeds to Ocean. Lady, and my pain 1 
will bear even as till now I have endured it. Farewell, 
Selene bright and fair, farewell, ye other stars that folloiv 
the wheels of quiet night." * 

As the bucolic poet can turn any myth into a love tale, 
so can he reduce marvellous deeds to charming scenes of 
domesticity.* " When Heracles was but ten months old. 
the lady of Midea, even Alcmena, took him on a time, 
and Iphicles, his brother, younger by one night, and 
gave them both their bath and their fill of milk, then laid 
them down in the buckler of bronze, that goodly piece 
whereof Amphitrj^on had stripped the fallen Pterelaus, 
and then the lady stroked her children's heads, and spoke 
saying: ' Sleep, my little ones, a light delicious sleep; 
sleep, soul of mine, two brothers, babes unharmed; 
blessed be your sleep, and blessed may ye come to the 
dawn.' So saying she rocked the huge shield^ and in a 
moment sleep laid hold of them."* 



' Idyl, ii, Lang's trmnsUtion. 

* lb. The girl has been invoking Selene to durm back her lover with 
magic rites. 

*0f course In seeking the domestic, Theocritus was not atone. Culli- 
macbus hn<] lA-ritten a famous idyllic epic, Hecalt, wilK Tbc&cos' capture of 
the Marathoniati hull for its nominal subject; but its most interesting 
mnlter was the story of her sorrows and domestic trials, told by an old 
woman, st whose cabin dte hero seeks shelter for the night. 



3«o 



ANCIENT WEALS. 



Then the poet tells how Hera sent the two serpents 
how the babes wakened, Iphicles screaming in terror; 
how Heracles grasped them by the throats, and vainly 
they struggle in their pain. " Now Alcmena heard tlie 
cry, and wakened first,— 'Arise, Amphitryon, (or numb- 
ing fear lays hold of me; arise, nor stay to put shoon 
beneath thy feet. Hearst thou not how loud the 
younger child is wailing ? * ... Thus she spoke, 
and at his wife's bidding he stepped down out of his bed, 
and made for his richly dight sword that he kept always 
hanging on its pin above his bed o£ cedar . . . Then 
he cried aloud on his thralls who were drawing the deep 
breath of sleep: ' Lights! bring lights as quick as may 
be from the hearth, my thralls, and thrust back the strong 
bolts of the door! Arise, yc serving-men, stout of heart, 
'tis the master calls! ' Then quick the serving-men 
came speeding with torches burning, and the house 
waxed full as each man hasted along. Then truly, when 
they saw the young child Heracles clutching the snakes 
twain in his tender grasp, they all cried out and smote 
their hands together. But he kept showing the creeping 
things to his father Amphitryon, and leaped on high in 
his childish glee, and, laughing, at his father's feet he laid 
them down, the dread monsters, fallen in the sleep of 
death. Then Alcmena in her bosom took and laid 
Iphicles, dry-eyed and wan with fear; but Amphitryon, 
placing the other child beneath a lamb's wool coverlet, 
betook himself again to his bed, and got him to bis 
rest." ' 

Pindar tells the same myth, shortly as is his wont, his 
heart burning with the thought of the deed. Theocritus 
tells of the mother's loving care, her blessings on her 
sons, their sleep, the terrified outcry of the younger, the 
mother waking first and anxious, rousing her husband, 
hurrying him to rise without his shoes. — and then the 
inrushing servants, and again the mother clasping the 

' TheocrituB, /«/»■/, xxiv. Lang's tmisUdon. 



LATER HELLENISM. 



361 



The 
Anthology. 



terrified Iphiclcs, and the father, after all the trouble, 
getting into bed again. The deed itself is but a little 
centre around which to group this domestic scene. 

Much that may be said of Alexandrian literature may 
be said of the Anthology, that huge collection of epitaph 
and epigram and varied verse which comes 
down to us, part of it from Alexandrian times. 
Happy, if often coarse, are the conceits of its 
love epigrams, and bitter too the sting at the tail of these 
caustic verses; and the pathos of the epitaphs carries the 
freshness of tears down these twenty centuries, teaching 
that centuries are nought, since the heart beats now as it 
did then. The great poems of Greece also taught that 
centuries arc nothing; then the lesson moved in heroism^ 
showing the perfect deed as a flash out of eternity. In 
the epitaphs of the Anthology, save the few old Greek 
ones, there are strains of pathos, the woe of the drowned 
mariner, tears for the lovely maid cut off, tears for the 
death couch of a mother:— ^the greatness is gone.' 

The Phidian art of Periclean Athens was public art ; its 

motives were the glory of the state and the honor of the 

gods, and public revenues defrayed the cost. 

After the Peloponnesian war, when the civic _ "* 

Scop&s And 
fervor of the great times passed away, tenden- pr^^itgie, 

cies toward individualism showed themselves 
in art, which was now to minister to the magnificence of 
princes and the luxury of the rich, and express the nar- 
rower motives of the times.' The age brought forth 
Scopas and Praxiteles, whose works were nearer its level, 
showed human acts and passions more palpably, and gave 
subtler expression to the moods and emotions of men. 

' See Macluul's Select Epigrams from theGnek Anthalegy^ and Introduc> 
lion, xiij-xvi, 

• Wherever afler the peritKl of the Pelopunnesian war there was public 
spirit and achievmicnt — as at Thebes or in Arcadia or Messene IQ alliance 
with Thebes — there followed a corresponding development of art ; but 
never anything to be ccmpored with the public art of the Athens of Pericles. 
See Overbeck. GischUhtt der Griechischen Plastik, vol. ii. 



363 



ANCIENT WEALS. 



Although Scopas was born at Paros he may have been 
influenced by the traditions of Phidian art as much as his 
younger contemporary Praxiteles, who was a native-bom 
Athenian. At all events, there was such close relationship 
between the works of these two masters that in Ph'ny's 
time it was a question to which of them to attribute the 
Niobc group. The statues of Scopas express passion and 
emotion, — rage, fear, love, desire. His sculptured coun- 
tenances express definite thought or feeling, or definite 
traits of character in action. No single figure from the 
remains of the Mausoleum can be surely attributed to 
him ; yet, as he was its leading artist, its sculptures we 
probably executed under his direction. The action of the 
Greeks and Amazons of its frieze is energetic, even vio- 
lent ; many of their faces show the eagerness of battle or 
the pitifulness of danger and overthrow. Yet among 
them are youthful forms and countenances of ideal 
beauty. 

Scopas also carved statues wherein was intensified 
some special element of humanity to the probable depr 
ciation of the other traits which were required by the^ 
full classic ideal of complete perfection. Such were his 
three famous boy-forms at Megara, personifying *£pof, 
"//ifpof, and n^Bos,—Lot'i', its C/iarm, and the Desirt 
inspired. Undoubtedly these three phases of human 
being were ideally presented, a result which must neverthe- 
less have been reached through leaving imperfectly ex- 
pressed other admirable youthful qualities, like strength 
and manliness. These statues represented an idealized 
human element, but not the ideal of full human being. 

Perhaps one should regard sense-beauty as characteriz- 
ing the sculpture of Praxiteles, though it was not the 
most prominent trait in all his works, which were various 
in character. We know from the Hermes found at Olym- 
pia that he invested his divine forms with lovely beauty, 
and the Hermes was not among his works most cele- 
brated in antiquity, of which perhaps the most famous 



LATER HELLENISM, 



363 



was his nude Aphrodite of Cnidos.' He was not always 
earnest with his marble gods, and seems in such a work 
as the Apollo Sauroctonus almost to play with thoughts 
of divinity. Praxiteles has grace and loveliness of 
form and feature. Far is he from realism. Yet in rep- 
resenting the human form he lias become more natural, 
say than Polyclitus, for he gives his statues the softer 
and subtler suggestions of flesh and movement. Beyond 
all other sculptors, says Diodorus of Sicily, did Praxiteles 
express rd rffs 'pvxtfS naOfjy the emotions of the soul, the 
movements of the spirit ; and this too in their Avhole range 
from soft musing and gathering desire to violent passion. 
Yet judging from the notices of his works, it may be 
inferred that for the most part they expressed those 
emotions which arc connected with sense-beauty.' 

The grandeur of human quality bodied in the art of 
Phidias gave to its monumental creations a loftiness of 
intellectuality which no later art could equal. The stat- 
ues of Scopas and Praxiteles more palpably exhibit spirit- 
ual life in play of thought and motive and desire. Had 
Phidias in the features of his gods displayed vivid play of 
thoughts and sentiments appropriate to each, he would 
have given them more palpable individuality; for it is in 
action rather than in repose, in specially directed mental 
exertion or sentiment, or in passion and emotion, that 
characteristic traits more plainly show themselves. Yet 
no such transient phase of thought or passion can exhibit 
the personality so completely and permanently as repose, 
when the face wears that expression which is, as it were, 
the sum of the man's past life. Particular expression in 
a statue usually exists at the expense of deeper truth 
and permanence. 

From the broad Phidian ideal of setting forth entire and 

' An idea of which may be given by the VtHus of the Vatican. 

' The Choregic monument of Lysicrates, 334 B.C., affords examples of the 
lighter sculpture of the Praxitelcaii time. Its sculptures have life and 
beauty, humor and grotesqueness too, and exquisite technique. 



364 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



complete being at its noblest, the art of Scopas and Prax- 
iteles was a deflection in its specialization of Phidian 
idealism by creating beings who did not contain the 
whole range of human attribute, but stood rather for on< 
or another side of human nature, like Eros or Desire. 
The creations of this latter art arc of a lesser beauty 
because they do not set forth the full round of human 
excellence, and thus moreover will lack complete physi- 
cal and intellectual proportion. Again, this latter art 
lacked the highest beauty, because it did not give due 
pre-eminence to the grandest traits. Its gods were not 
as great gods as Phidian Zeus and Athene. And its cre- 
ations lacked ethos, that ethical imprcssivencss, that free 
and intellectual nobility, springing from the union of 
great and universal qualities in a self-directing person- 
ality.' 

As Scopas and Praxiteles were, in a measure, the succes- 
sors of Phidias, so their younger con tern porarj', Lysippus 
of Sicyon, though calling himself self-taught, 
was the successor of Myron and Polyclitus. 
The art of the Argive masters expressed the strength and 
completeness of physique. Polyclitus' Doryphorus had 
become the canon of the human athletic form. With this 
statue as a model. Lysippus sought farther to elevate the 
body by refining its baser traits, its every superfluity of 
flesh, and by raising those elements which gave it grace 
and power and nobility of aspect. The Apoxyomenus^ 
was a glorified Dorypfiorus. The complete, fully devcl-^ 
oped, and formally correct work of the ancient master 
received its apotheosis in the nobility of bodily strength j 
and beauty created by Lysippus. And withal the latter' 
statue is the more natural, in that it expresses the subtler 
traits of physical life. 

Lysippus also executed colossal statues and portraits 

' See ante, chap. ix. The course of Greek painting was naularh, 
Aristotle says the pictures of Polygnotns had etho&, those of Zeuzis had noU J 
—P Of tits, vj. 



Lysippus. 




LATER HELLENISM. 



365 



whose fame has been enduring. The chief of the latter 
were his portraits of Alexander, on one of which was 
written the epigram, — " It looks up as if saying, ' Mine 
is the earth, thou rulest, O Zeus, in Olympus.' " These 
preserved certain of the conqueror's peculiarities, as carrj-- 
ing the head on one side; and with insight Lysippus 
presented such individual traits in their proper relation* 
ship and common effect, so as to give the impression of 
the very Alexander. 

Imaginary statues of past literary worthies, Horner^ for 
example, also came from his hand, a mode of art which 
seems to have been original with him. He also carved 
gods and allegorical statues, as of Opportunity, the favor- 
ing instant. This was an allegory, lacking true personal- 
ity and making one of the first of this type of statues; 
for now and afterwards Cities and the Fortunes of Cities 
were personified, and Poetry and Music and the other 
arts. All of which were again forerunners of the still 
more lifeless personifications of abstract ideas, /Equitas, 
Saius, Pax, Sfcuriltis, Conconiia, and the like. In the 
great Greek period such personifications were made more 
sparingly and only of ideas like Victory^ which had long 
possessed personality in common thought. Eros and 
Youth were also represented in art ; but these were human 
qualities, naturally offering themselves for personification. 
The great creations of Greek art, the deities, were true 
personalities, or, if we choose, proper personifications of 
personal attributes ; that is, of attributes like strength and 
wisdom, bravery and self-control, which exist only in 
persons. It was a different matter to take impersonal 
circumstances or condition.s, or their abstract ideas, such 
as "peace," "wealth," "liberty," "concord," and 
represent them in human forms. Such art errs because 
these are not elements of human being, and have no gen- 
uine personality; but merely constitute its environment 
or condition. They are abstract notions of circum- 
stances, not of personal qualities ; and art resorted to 



366 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



Pathos ID 
Greek 

Sculpture. 



them only when the vision for sublime and universal per- 
sonalities was passing from men. This tendency of art 
was not the animism of early times. When Phidias 
placed the Jlissus on the west pediment of the Parthe- 
non, he represented in human form the river-god, the 
personal spirit, who in old Greek thought animated the 
river and made it flow. It was no abstract idea that he 
was endeavoring to embody Jn marble, such as the waning 
idealism and growing sentimentality of the later time 
affected. 

The highest plastic art makes sparing use of pathos to 
enhance its interest. Phidian art felt no need to point 
its ethical worth by pathetic elements. There 
was no pathos in the Olympian Zeus or in the 
At June Parthenon; nor is there any in the 
sculptures from the pediments of the Parthe- 
non which have been preserved, nor any in the frieze. In 
the metopes which show the conflict between Centaurs 
and Lapiths, pathos enters of necessity, for a battle 
implies wounds and death. Hence there is great piathos 
in the expiring Lapith form of the famous metope; there 
is pathos in the agony of the Centaur whose back is 
pierced by a sword. Yet in these Parthenon metopes 
there is no heightening of pathos for its own sake; such 
as exists is necessary to the general theme and its main 
thought, a great and ethical thought, the ruin involved io 
lawless crime. 

Pathos became a very prominent element of art when 
men's motives were narrowing to their individual desires. 
Then the pathetic came to be greatly valued for its own 
sake; for it represented the appeal of individual to indi- 
vidual, which, with the increasing individualistic tenden- 
cies of the times, was taking the place of broader ethical 
motives, such as the greatness of the citizen in the glory 
of his state. The pathetic in Greek art grew at the 
expense of ethical and intellectual qualities. It impaired 
the full ideal of beauty and of excellence when it led to 



LATER HELLENISM. 



367 



the creation of specially emotional natures. Such were 
Scopas's yearning sea-gods, hippoccntaurs, and maenads; 
such were his statues Eros and Desire. These were all 
creations in which the emotional side was so prominent 
as to impair their full personality. Besides, they were 
beings representing the pathos of unfulfilled desire and 
the yearning of individuals towards one another, matters 
which the Greeks rarely treated in a lofty way. 

Two groups may be referred to as examples of the 
pathetic in Greek sculpture. The first is the Niobe, a 
work either by Scopas or Praxiteles. Niobe is essentially 
a pathetic creation, yet possessing great character and 
intellectual qualities, — ethos. She is an agonized mother; 
she is also a beautiful woman and a great queen. She 
does not grovel and shriek out in vain fear, but would 
interpose her body between her children and Heaven's 
vengeance. Beyond this, she does not impotently resist 
or blaspheme the cruel retribution of the gods. Her 
pride and loftiness of mind control her grief, and will sus- 
tain her till her form stiffen to stone. Moreover, the 
ethical import of ruin brought by overwhelming pride of 
greatness is clear and Impressive. 

The pathos of the Niobe is exceeded in intensity by 
that of the Laocoon, a work of Rhodian sculptors of at 
least a century after Praxiteles' time. Every one knows 
it to be a marvel of plastic composition and skill, perhaps 
the most difficult work left by antiquity: one can hardly 
see the statue without thinking of the skill of the artists 
— no praise, to be sure. The mortal agony of the group 
is inten-sified with consummate technical and dramatic 
skill. In the elder son there is the beginning; he is only 
held in fear, is not yet pierced by the poison of the ser- 
pents, nor crushed by their folds. In the younger son 
there is the end ; his sufferings are over, and he is swoon- 
ing in death. These two set off the climax of agony in 
the father, the incarnation of struggling pain, overmas- 
tering, absorbing. As the physical pain contorts his 



368 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



features, so does it also obscure his mind; indeed, a 
noble mind, one may think, if only the physical agony 
would let the mind clear itself. 

Niobe feels the anguish of a mother, feels it clearly, her 
mind and soul possessed by the despairing hope of pro- 
tecting her children. But the mind of Laocoon is so 
obscured by his own agony that such mental anguish as 
he feels is not clear and definite, is only vague despair. 
Intense physical pain deadens thought and mental woe. 
Laocoon s mind would seek its woe in thought for his 
sons, in thought for the doomed city; but the pain 
obscures clear thought of anything, so that there is actu- 
ally little more in Laocoon than physical agony. Conse- 
quently the Laocoiin is a less noble work than the Ntobr : 
the pathos in it is more the pathos of physical pain, pre- 
senting no great quality brought to expression in a 
concrete form, as the A^iobe expresses the anguish of a 
mother's love. The Laocoon shows the tendency of the 
pathetic in Greek sculpture towards the narrow and the 
individual; shows how higher themes were losing their 
hold on men. And if in sculpture, how much more in 
painting, which lends itself more readily to the pathetic 
and the little. When reading -tschylus' PrometheHS^ the 
Titan's greatness, his resolve, his strength of will and far 
vision fill the mind to the exclusion of thoughts of physi- 
cal pain. In these later times admiration for these quali- 
ties had shrunk, and we read the story of Parrhasius 
torturing a captive to get the very utmost expression of 
agony to copy in his Prometheus. 

The pathos of the last bloom of Greek sculpture, while 
it acquired no higher motives than those of the Laocoon, 
became even more individual because it became 
The Later realistic. In the art of Pergamon, from the 
RcAliam. time of Atallus I, about 20O B.C.» on through 
the next fifty years, the sculptors chose often 
contemporary historical events, and carved their statues j 
with close attention to historical and ethnographical' 



LATEK HELLENISM. 



3^ 



accuracy^ all of which is shown in the many can'ings of 
Gauls and other barbarians dating from this period. 
This sculpture was nearly all pathetic, representing the 
overthrow or suicide of these barbarians, and in addition 
to its almost exclusive pathos, with no hi^^h motive 
rendered prominent, the growing realism of detail and 
feature further detracted from its breadth of human sig- 
nificance. These Gauls were Gauls, rather than broad 
human beings, and their frequently carved suicides repre- 
sented a special phase of barbaric despair which had no 
such universal human significance as Niobi-*s anguish.' 

A splendid example of realistic sculpture is given by 
the reliefs around the great altar of Zeus built at Perga- 
mon for Eumenes II, who reigned from K.c. 196 to It.C. 
157. They represent the Gigantomachy. Their art 
combines inherited tradition with the tendencies of the 
time. The conceptions of the gods are of great nobility 
and power; but realism enters in the minutely careful 
carving of their garments, the texture of which is shown 
in the marble. Further realism appears in the detail 
of the animals — dogs, lions, eagles — which attend the 
gods and rend the giants. Likewise the mode of repre- 
senting the combat is realistic; the cagic of Zeus 
with its claw seizes the lower jaw of one of the snakes 
forming the monstrous extremities of a giant; another 
giant of completely human form is agonized, his thigh 
transfixed with a flaming thunderbolt from Zeus's hand. 
Some of the giants are of ideal beauty, while others are 
but half human, with snaky extremities or bestial heads. 
In their faces appears the pathos of struggle, suffering, 
or overthrow. The technique is admirable, and the com- 
position is skilful, although it will seem confused to those 
who love the harmony and order of the Parthenon frieze. 
These large reliefs of the Zeus altar are all \\i true relief 

' An example is afforded by the statuei which rcmaia (in the miueuins of 
Naples, Venice, Rome, Fnrlti. and Aix) of the gfft of Atallus I to Athens. 
The Dying Gaul of Uie Capitol is of the same sctiool. 

VOL. I.— «4 



370 



ANCIENT WBALS, 



style. But some smaller reliefs, probably from an interior 
bit of frieze representing the myth of Telcphus, arc pic- 
torial, with landscape background and other suggestions 
of painting. 

After this strong art of Pergamon, sculpture seems to 
have had no further original impulse. Probably all the 
great Hellenic statues are earlier. The Samothracian 
Niki was probably dedicated by Demetrius Poliorceles 
about B.C. 300; the Venus of Mehs cannot be much 
later; nor the Apollo Belvedere. There is something 
final in these last periods of Hellenic sculpture. Its 
proper limits have been reached ; beyond them there is 
nothing for the sculptor but to attempt to narrate or 
depict. Henceforth sculpture must overstep its bounds 
or reproduce. If it does the former, it loses its proper 
greatness in mistaken attempts to accomplish what poe- 
try or painting can do better ; if the latter, it degenerates 
through loss of originality. In both modes of degener- 
ation sculpture was now rapidly to decline. 



The Drift 
to Phi- 
losophy. 



The life of the Greek city-states had been often hard 
and cruel ; and in the third and second centuries, living 
was perhaps more comfortable than it had been 
in the greater days. But formerly, whate\*cr 
life actually was, there always seemed possibili* 
ties of bettering or upholding or controlling it. 
External powers were not so palpably overwhelming. 
Now the crowd might take what pleasure it could get day 
by day. It had no longer public duties to perform nor 
public spirit ; why should not each man take his pleasure ? 
And many did. But those who looked before and after 
could find no satisfaction thus. Feeling themselves 
powerless over life about them, they sought a refuge and 
a peace within ; such men turned to philosophy. That 
had been a search for knowledge loved for its own sake ; it 
had meant keen investigations and grand imaginative 
systems. Now it meant a means of guiding one's life in 



LATER HELLENJSM. 



37« 



the best way; and knowledge was sought as yielding 
surer rules of conduct. So philosophies became practical 
systems, with thoughtful men supplying the place of 
religion, and superseding those ethics which public opin- 
ion had sanctioned ; and though, from lack of prayer and 
worship, Stoicism and Epicureanism were not religions, 
they tended to become philosophic creeds. In former 
times, only men with yearning intellects would devote 
themselves to philosophy; many other matters filled 
noble minds. Heraclttus, Democritus. Socrates, Plato, 
and their few disciples might be philosophers, formal 
seekers after knowledge and an accordant life; but the 
full and eager life of the same times made Pindar, iEschy- 
lus, Sophocles, poets; made Solon, Themistocles, Aristi- 
des, Pericles, Epaminondas, statesmen and soldiers. Had 
these men lived in the third century before Christ, they 
had been neither poets nor statesmen ; what else could 
they have been than Stoics, Epicureans, and Sceptics?! 
In this century, philosophy, because of the number of its 
votaries, who possessed a large part of the intellectual 
enci^y of the time, became of general importance as 
never before. 

However useful Socrates' teachings may have been to 
the individual, they had public motives and predominant 
regard for the state. So had Plato's philos- 
ophy shown a grand spiritual objectivity, ^*"" ^ 

.. , .,.., , ,, . Cyrenaics. 

wherem the mdividual was of less importance 

than the ideal community, and wherein spirituality was 
far removed from any ideal of self-centred inner life. 
But even Socrates had disciples who represented tenden- 
cies which were to become the master motives of the Hel- 
lenic world, tendencies born of waning public energy, and 
growing as men centred their desires in themselves. Chief 
among these were the austere Antisthenes and Aristippus, 
master of the art of self-content. Each professed to see 
the true Socratic doctrine in those opposite elements of 
the master's teaching respectively most congenial to the 



372 



AiVClENT IDEALS. 



rude Cynic and the voluptary from Cyrene. Madness 
were better than pleasure, said the one ; sense- pleasure is 
the only good, said the other. Both, anticipating the 
waning intellectual energy of the coming times, laid 
aside the care for knowledge. Antisthcnes, Diogenes, 
and other Cynics, with their congenial friend Stilpo the 
Megarian. fell into a nominalism so extreme and material 
as to render knowledge impossible. They would not hear 
of abstract qualities, would hold to nothing but particu- 
lars, and only to those particular things which could be 
seen and felt. Virtue was enough for man ; that was his 
whole well-being ; ar/wrr; and evdatfAovia were the same. 
External goods were useless, marriage and a home, 
encumbrances. Let a man wander a homeless beggar, 
blessed with his virtue. Virtue was also reason, wisdom; 
a few wise men there are, the rest are fools; and the wise 
are sufficient to themselves, which is enough. 

Cynicism was brutal negation. It would cast off all 
ties, all bonds, all decencies. Virtue lay in austerity and 
suppression of pleasure, intellectual as well as sensual; 
though it was sense-pleasure that predominated in the 
festering Cynic imagination. They called themselves 
citizens of the world, yet had no sense of tlie brotherhood 
of man ; they were cosmopolitan only in having no civic 
loves, and recognizing no civic duties. They did recog- 
nize the propriety of promulgating their doctrines, from 
vanity perhaps, and the pride which Plato saw through 
the rents of Antisthenes* garments. 

Opposed as the doctrines of Aristippus were to those 
of the Cynics, they represented the same abandonment of 
duty to the state, the same centring of the individual in 
himself. Thinking there was no sufficient reason to deem 
sensations true images of the external world, he held 
physical science impossible, and regarded sensation as the 
only matter important for man. All that men can surely 
do is to occasion sensations within themselves, beyond 
which they know nothing; hence the farthest rule of 



I 

I 




LATER HELLENISM, 



171 



conduct is for each man to give himself pleasurable sensa- 
tions and avoid unpleasant ones, the former being good 
without regard to their source, the latter unconditionally 
evil. What the morrow may bring is uncertain; the 
present with its sensations only is ours; these alone 
afford assured good and an unerring guide to life. Yet, 
since it is known that certain pleasures bring greater 
pains, men may wisely avoid the one to escape the other; 
at least men know that abandonment to sense-pleasures 
results in dulncss and pain. So the wise man will control 
himself and walk the ways of temperance, following 
pleasures always, but content with those that bring no 
pain. In such a life of temperance wherein pleasures and 
pains were weighed, it was impossible that mental ele- 
ments should not enter, even though they might not be 
emphasized in expression. Pleasant mental elements, at 
least, would be the contemplation of past pleasures and a 
gentle looking forward to pleasures to come, yet without 
building too much on the future's uncertainties. So, at 
all event.s, both as to the present and the future, the rule 
of life should be self-control and contentment. Thus, 
through an opposite course, Aristippus reached the same 
goal with the Cynics, — freedom from the bonds of cir- 
cumstances. This was the goal so many were to seek ; 
but as for Aristippus' views, they were soon departed from, 
his followers first abandoning the pleasure of the moment 
as a guide, then giving up the hope of getting positive 
pleasure at all, seeking only freedom from pain, and in 
the end doubting whether pleasure and pain were after 
all the great matters. 

Cynics, Cyrenaics, Megarians too, were forerunners 
along the way over which multitudes of Stoics, Epicu- 
reans, and Sceptics were to travel more knowingly. The 
crudities of the earlier doctrines were discarded, and 
their incompleteness supplemented by the broader and 
more positive teachings of the Stoa, and Epicurus' more 
adequate exposition of the nature and limitations of bed- 



374 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



Stoicism. 



onism. Zeno and Epicurus had the opportunity of 
deriving such illumination as their characters permitted 
from the systems of Plato and Aristotle. And as for 
Scepticism, that might never have advanced beyond the 
narrow doubt of Pyrrho, had not Carneades used Plato's 
dialectic to establish an academic despair. 

Stoic philosophy falls into Logic, Physics, and Ethics. 
The object of the first was to obtain a criterion of truth 
and some formal scheme of ratiocination 
whereby to base Stoic ethics on Stoic physics. 
For Chrysippus declared that he could see no foundation 
for justice except in the nature of Zeus and the universe. 
Which is to say he could see no sure basis for a system of 
ethics, of human conduct — the great matter— except in 
principles rooted in the nature of man and the world 
about him. This idea is still admirably Greek. 

These later philosophies begin with some preliminary' 
discussion of human knowledge. It was especially neces- 
sary for such a positive system as the Stoa to establish a 
theory of knowledge and a criterion of truth. The 
endeavor of Stoic logic was, through analysis of the forms 
and general nature of mental presentations, to obtain a 
criterion whereby their truth or falsity might be deter- 
mined. All presentations {^avTaatai) arise from the 
impressions made by objects through sensation upon the 
soul, which is at first as a piece of white paper; sensa- 
tion, perception, is the origin of all mental presentations. 
From sense-perception comes memory, from many like 
memories comes experience, and from the comparisoa 
and combination of multiform perceptions, rendered pos- 
sible by memorj' and experience, ideas arc formed which 
transcend sensation.' 

Although the contents of ideas are derived from sensa- 



' Those ideas which arc (onned without artifice, and according to natan. 
constitute the npoXiji^ni or Motvai kvvoiat which the Stoics regaided as 
the principles of truth and virtae and as the mark of rattonal being*. See 
ZeUer. PHi. der GHtchtn (3d ed.), 3', p. 63, tt uq. 



LATER HELLENISM. 



375 



tions, the Stoics did not regard sensation in itself as true. 
Truth depends on the relation of sensations to thought; 
for truth and error are not predicable of disconnected 
sensations^ but only of the conclusions drawn from them 
through the formative activity of the mind; and as like 
can be known only by like, so only the reason within can 
know the reason of the universe. Yet thought and sen- 
sation differ only in form, for in substance thought must 
be the same as sensation from which it derives its entire 
content. Thought is merely a classifying and generaliz- 
ing of the contents of experience.' Practically, however, 
the Stoics based the validity of thought on its own con- 
vincingness, the greater certainty of the conclusions of 
reason and the irresistible conviction which they carry. 
That is true which after careful consideration carries con- 
viction ; and the Stoics alleged that there must of neces- 
sity exist a cognition of truth, for otherwise no one could 
act with conviction and on principle. 

Stoic physics sought to determine the nature of the 
universe and man in order to find a sure rule of human 
conduct. Physical knowledge was not sought for its own 
sake; indeed, Chrysippus had declared that to pursue 
studies for the sake of knowledge and its delights was to 
lead a life of pleasure. It accorded with the practical 
aims and character of Stoicism that in matters of science 
it seized upon what lay nearest and most apparent. So, 
perhaps starting from the every-day life of man which 
moves among things tangible and visible, the Stoics 
declared that only the material was real.' Hence all 
properties, attributes, and qualities can only be material 
— produced by air-currents. The relations of all things 
to each other, of body and body, body and attribute, 
body and soul, arc simply mutual interminglings. Force, 



' Thus inconsistently the Stoics ascribed greatest truth to that which had 
no real existence according to their extreme nuleriollstic and nominalistic 
views, which fouad reality only in particular material things. 

' Cf. 2eUer. ib., 3'. p. 133, // seg. 



3/6 



ANCrSNT IDEALS, 



the efficient cause, is the part of the universe which acts: 
matter is the part which is acted on. This efficient cause 
is God, who must possess all attributes which he produces. 
Formless matter is the material cause ; it is passive, God 
is active; in substance both are one. This is Pantheism, 
finding in God the primary matter as well as the primary* 
power. 

The human soul is also material, as are its qualities, 
vice and virtue for example. It may be regarded as wann 
breath diffused through the body, as the soul of the 
world is diffused throughout the world. The soul is one 
in substance, reason (to tfy^^ovt-Kov) being its primary 
activity. Reason, moreover, constitutes a man*a self, 
determines his identity. The human soul is part of the 
world's soul, and will be resolved into it at the end of 
this world's course, though as to its lot until then Stoic 
philosophers differed. 

The Stoic conception of God was fervent rather than 
original. Cleanthes's famous h>'mn to Zeus, though its 
devout tone is almost unequalled in Greek literature, 
contains no thoughts he might not have gathered from 
j^schylus or Sophocles. Stoic expressions as to the 
divine are diverse, often vague, often emotional, and 
seem to spring from a reverence for all-ruling law, call it 
destiny or nature, Zeus or the universal rea.son, or call 
it Providence, a term which came into use. The world is 
ruled by Providence; cvcr>'thing is produced by divine 
power, and with a purpose interweaving its existence with 
the rest of the universe; plants are produced for animals, 
animals for man, men for mutual intercourse. 

There were many contradictions in the Stoic theory of 
the universe, connected with the character of Stoicism as 
a .system of materialism with spiritual aims. That was , 
its noble inconsistency, from which, however, sprang 
many of the special questions of its " physics." For 
example : how reconcile the apparent presence of evil in 
the world with its perfection ? They answered, physical 



LATER HELLENiSM. 



177 



evii is nothing; moral evil is man's fault; in the end God 
will turn it to good. And they emphasized the Socratic 
aphorism — no evil can come to a good man. Again, 
another Stoic problem: how reconcile moral responsibil- 
ity with an all-ruling Providence ? They answered, 
though, the human will may not be free to act, it is free 
to will ; man is responsible for what he wills, without 
regard to whether the act is within his power or not. So 
they solved these problems with a certain lofty insuffi- 
ciency; and how a spiritual system was reared upon a 
basis not its own more strikingly appears in Stoic ethics, 
the noblest outcome of the time. The reasoning was 
faulty; but these ethics were profoundly felt. 

Stoic ethics start from a vague and general conception 
^nature — inherited from the Greek past. The primary 
impulse of every one is toward self-preservation and grati- 
fication ; that is, toward a preservation and furtherance 
of his own well-being. Such an impulse is right because 
according to nature, and because his own well-being is 
man's highest good. From this it was an immediate 
inference that only what suited man's nature — furthered 
his well-being — was good for him. Stoicism might now 
proceed in any direction : the particular direction it would 
take depended on what was meant by nature, especially 
by man's nature. In determining this, the Stoics evolved 
a doctrine, which in its form and application must be 
regarded as original with them, although they might 
have gathered its elements from Heraclitus and Plato. 
Man is a reasonable being; reason is his peculiar char- 
acteristic, his essential nature. Hence nothing accords 
with man's nature, or can be a good for him, which is not 
consonant with reason ; speaking more explicitly, conso- 
nant both with man's reason and the universal law, the 
rea.son of the universe, of which human reason is part. 
Hence on!y acts which spring from man's reason, recog- 
nizing and acquiescing in the universal reason, conduce to 
his well-being. Such action is virtue. Only virtue is 



378 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



good; only virtue brings happiness; well-being, happi- 
ness, consists only in virtue. 

The Stoic conception of good often bears the aspect of 
law — the law " universal and eternal in righteousness" 
of which Cleanthes sings.' With this accords the law of 
man's nature, and the laws of the state are a recogni- 
tion and reflex of the divine: hence obedience to them is 
man's duty, and a natural impulse as well, 

Zeus, God, the universal law all-ruling, is wholly reason. 
But man is not; he has emotions and passions arising 
from lack of self-control and errors of judgment. These 
are: pleasure, which arises from an irrational opinion of 
what is good, and refers to the present; desire, arising 
from the same source, but referring to the future; care, 
which arises from an irrational opinion of evil, and refers 
to the present; fear, arising from the same source as 
care, but referring to the future. These emotions should 
be suppressed ; the wise man is free from them, sufFcrit 
no afl^iction, feeling no fear nor anger nor pity. 

Besides this apathy, virtue has a positive side, which 
consists in acting according to the universal law through 
rational self-control; and virtue become that Iheoiy 
and practice which bases action on knowledge of the 
good and has right conduct for its aim : it resolves itself 
into power of will based on reason and knowledge. Fol- 
lowing Plato, the Stoics recognized four cardinal virtues,^^! 
which differ among themselves only in their special^* 
aspects: he who possesses wisdom will show temperance. 
braver>% or justice when circumstances call for them. So 
virtue being essentially a unit, the virtuous man must 
necessarily be altogether virtuous; every one who is not 
so — and this includes all men — is altogether evil. There 
is nothing between the two. The rare change fror 
wickedness to virtue is instantaneous and total. Virtue 
and wickedness arc always and exclusively such through 
the intention and will of the doer, irrespective of the out- 



LATER HELLENISM, 



179 



ward act and its consequences. A wicked desire which 
would be carried out if opportunity offered is as evil as 
if carried out. Every good act is unconditionally and 
absolutely good ; there are no kinds and degrees of goods, 
and external or bodily matters, like health, wealth, or life 
itself, are not to be reckoned among them. A virtuous 
will is the only good; every thought or act which in- 
fringes the moral law is absolute evil; all else — riches, 
honor, life, and their oppositcs — is indifferent, adiafpopov. 
Least of all can pleasure {i}6ov^) be a good. Even the 
pleasure accompanying virtuous conduct is indifferent. 
Pleasure is no part of virtue; it is often had by wicked/ 
men ; is of no value whatsoever. 

In the conviction that nought beyond a man's own will 
is a good or evil for him lay the wise man's refuge ; in this 
he might repose amid the storms of life, unshaken, serene, 
blessed. This was the dominant motive that made the 
Stoics illogical with all their logic, and led them on. 
Focusing their thought upon this inner spiritual life, the 
Stoics developed the idea of conscience, the inner recog- 
nition of a moral law applying uniformly to every indi- 
vidual. Each man determines the Tightness of his conduct 
by reference to the universal reason, regarded as uniform 
moral law and recognized by that part thereof which exists 
within him and constitutes his moral judgment. 

The Stoic conception of conscience came to its full 
development only with Roman Stoicism, when the system 
became even more practical and religious than it had been 
among its founders. But from the first the practical 
ethical purpose of Stoicism bent its doctrines from their 
logical severity. And difficulties soon appeared in the 
doctrinal part of the system. To restrict the notion of 
man's nature to his reason, to say that reason alone 
accorded with his nature, was palpably forced. The 
natural instinct of self-preservation includes the well- 
being of the body, and before long a practical system 
would recognize health and a reasonable enjoyment of 



380 



ANCiEST IDEALS. 



physical faculties as matters not entirely indifferent; but 
they must never conflict with man's absolute good, which 
lies in the activity of a virtuous will. So the Stoics 
admitted bodily well-being and harmless enjoyments as 
conditional goods for man, which under proper circum- 
stances he might desire and pursue. These were matters 
preferential, and might be regarded as man's secondarj" 
duty, wherein he carried out subordinate instincts of self- 
preservation, and acted at least not in disaccord with 
his true nature. It followed, too, that soon the Stoics 
would modify their demand of apathy — entire freedom 
from emotion — and substitute therefor a mastery over self 
amid pleasures as well as pains, and a subordination of the 
whole man to his higher will. Still another ethical modi-u 
fication of their system lay in the admission that a man' 
not completely wise might not be wholly wicked, and 
that a condition of progress towards virtue was betterJ 
than an absolutely wicked state. And finally they abaaJ 
doned the harsh Cynic doctrine that the wise man was 
all in ail to himself; truly the wise man might be. but 
where was he to be found ? Ordinary men, even goorf^ 
men, were not. This admission, combined with the 
proper Stoic doctrine of universal citizenship of the 
world, which recognized the common nature of mankind, 
— the brotherhood of man as Roman Stoics more lovingly 
thought it^lcd the Stoics to recognize fully duties 
towards others and towards the state, and this notwith- 
standing that the individual was always paramount in 
Stoicism. Likewise Stoics approved of marriage and the 
family ties springing from it, though as to these matters 
there was divergence of opinion. They were loath to 
break altogether from the popular religion, holding to 
its traditions and to divination. Their deeper religious 
thought was monotheistic, and regarded the popular 
divinities as manifestations of the supreme Zeus, whom 
they endowed with all divine attributes.' And further, 
' As in Cleasthea'& h)rmn. 



LATER HELLENISM. 



381 



Epicurus. 



deferring to their truer religious feelings while endeavor- 
ing to observe tradition, they sought to bend mythology 
to monotheism through symbolical and allegorical inter- 
pet rat ions. 

The significant elements of Stoicism were its convic- 
tions: that in the poise and noble cahii of inner life, set 
in a virtuous will, lies a beatitude which can be shaken by 
nothing from without; the virtue wherein lies the wise 
man's peace is a part of tlie will of God; man's inner 
nature is a part of the divine, his reason part of universal 
law, his prcrngative to yield to fate, follow the righteous 
law. obey God. 

The system of Epicurus had the same aim as Stoicism. 
With both, man's happiness was the object of philosophy, 
and knowledge was souglit only as a guide to 
happiness. Both systems show the individual- 
istic tendencies of the time as well as thoughts which 
break through materialistic doctrines. Both sec man's 
happiness in temperance and self-control and mental 
poise. But in their views of the essential nature of 
human well-being the two systems were opposed, and in 
their opposition the Pagan and Christian world recognized 
the difference between good morals and bad. Whatever 
were the doctrinal differences between them, whichever of 
the two h,id the better logic, and whatever likeness in 
practice might logically have resulted from them, the fact 
is incontestable that Stoicism fostered nobility of charac- 
ter, that Epicureanism had an opposite effect. 

The disciples of Epicurus clung to the letter and spirit 
of his teachings, making no important additions to doc- 
trines which the master fully developed. His teaching 
did not stimulate to inquiry; upon a statement of his 
borrowed facts often came the words : this may be so or it 
maybe otherwise, what difference ? With him philo.sophy 
was an activity {kv^pyexot) helping men to happiness 
(fi;tf«i/(oi'('rt) by words and reasonings. As a support 
for his philosophy, and deferring to the demands of the 



3" 



ENT WEALS. 



age, he stated a theory of knowledge. His Canonic, or 
test-science of truth, held that no truth could be had 
beyond sensation; which therefore must be taken as true 
in itself, though not necessarily giving true images of 
objects. Every sensation Is ultimate truth for the subject. 
Thoughts are sense-perceptions or sensations rememl>ered 
and transformed by the mind. 

Epicurus sought from natural science an hypothesis to 
obviate the need of supernatural causes, and free the 
minds of men from anxieties about God and death. Such 
he found in Dcmocritus' atomic theory, which explained 
the universe mechanically and excluded thought of pur- 
pose. He distorted this theory in one respect. Free 
will was needful to his ethics, and might be imperilled 
were the atoms allowed to fall perpendicularly in parallel 
courses. He thought to exclude fatalism by letting them 
deviate a little; what matter if the consistency of Dcmoc- 
ritus' theory was thereby destroyed! The soul of man 
consists of the finest, quickest atoms; it is composed of 
fire, air, vapor, and a fourth nameless element. More 
significantly speaking, the sou! consists of two parts, the 
rational and irrational, the former residing in the breast, 
the latter dispersed throughout the body. Mental activ- 
ity, sensation, perception, movements of the will, belong 
to the rational part. Epicurus denounced religion and 
belief in Providence, yet set up a number of serene, do- 
nothing gods which served to illustrate his idea of happi- 
ness. 

Such was Epicurus* general notion of the nature of 
things. The object of knowing even this much lay in his 
ethics. Pleasure is the absolute good, pain the absolute 
evil. There are varieties and dt^ees of the pleasures and 
pains entering a human life; to secure the greater pleas- 
ure, often the lesser pain must be endured, or again 
pleasure must be treated as evil because entailing some 
greater pain. Tt fell in with Epicurus* temper to think 
more of immunity from pain. So he followed Plato in 




LATER HELLENISM. 



383 



holding that every positive pleasure presupposes some 
want, and is but the removal of a craving. Broadly con- 
sidered, pleasure is freedom from paia. Consequently 
the beatific state is perfect repose — arctpafja — which 
implies no want and brings no pain, but is a matter of the 
mind arising from intelligence. Nature provides for the 
little that men need ; bread and water suffice for the wise. 
Pain, though an tjvil, need not disturb; for changeful 
bodily conditions are slight matters compared with men- 
tal repose; this is pleasure pure and abiding, and may be 
as independent of circumstances as the Stoic's apathy. 

Epicurus— more Greek in this respect than the Stoics 
— sought not to crush, but to control, the senses. Sense- 
pleasure in itself is good. Enjoy what offers, only with 
due regard to the avoidance of consequent pain, and 
crave nothing. Beware of entering on situations that 
may bring anxieties; hence, avoid turmoil and be chary 
of undertaking social obligations; all ties arc dangerous. 
Yet virtue may be a good, not in itself, but in the pleas- 
ure it may bring. Perhaps the sweetest thing on earth 
is friendship based on wise selfishness. And the humane 
spirit of Epicureanism, which taught compassion and for- 
giveness, culminated in the thought that it is sweeter to 
do well than to be well done by. 

The good of Epicureanism was limited to its slight 
fostering of the milder virtues of humanity. Its theories 
ran parallel with all the frailties. Wise had been Plato's 
thought, that whether pleasure was a good or not, men 
had better not cultivate it. Pleasure might safeSy be left 
to inspire its own seeking. The practical results uf 
Epicureanism were ignoble. If the accusations of its 
enemies are to be doubted, if in truth it did not encour- 
age all sense indulgence in its votaries, nevertheless it 
stood for the weakness of the age. It was a form of un- 
belief in the worth of virtue and accomplishment. It 
meant withdrawal from that eternal conflict which is pro- 
gress. It was no creed to help on the world. 



384 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



The weakness of the time took another form in Scep- 
ticism. That also sought to give repose of mind and 
SceDticB ni^l^c its followers independent of circum- 
and stances. But it starts from no positive asscr-^ 

cectici. ^j^^ ^&\.o the nature of human good; but rather' 
with a forced indifference as to what it could not surely 
know. While neutral between Stoics and Epicureans. 
Scepticism opposed the dogmatic assertions of both, and 
for itself remained unconvinced of anything. 

Pyrxho ' gave form to its germ. Nothing can be 
known of the nature of things; hence judgment should 
be suspended; an imperturbability of spirit will result, 
while in practice the philosopher wilt act on probabilities. 
It was left to the New Academy to develop the philo- 
sophic denial of the possibility of knowledge. Arcesilaus 
argued against the Stoic view that truth lies in irresistible 
impressions. And Cameadcs ' skilfully opposed a num- 
ber of the Stoic doctrines, using many now familiar aigu- 
ments against their theory of design. He also developed 
the positive .side of scepticism, the theory of probabili- 
ties; a notion is probable when by itself it makes the im- 
pression of truth ; it is probable and undisputed when 
that impression is confirmed by the agreement of all no- 
tions relating to it; it is probable, undisputed, and tested 
when an investigation of all these notions produces the 
same corroboration for all. Practically, men may act nn 
such probabilities. This was an answer to the Stoics 
and Epicurean argument that knowledge must be 
blc to make certainty of action possible. 

Scepticism is a natural halting-place between one set 
of doctrines and those which shall supcr.sede them. 
From time to time it rises and directs itself against some 
si^ecial phase of dogmatism, overthrows it pos5:ibly, and 
clears the way for men to advance. The scepticism of 
the Sophist<i showed the faulty methods of the physical 
philosophers, before the philosophy which founded 

I A native of Elts ; be accoiapuiied Alexander to lodU : died abaat B.C. 
270, leaving nu writingdi. * i.e. 310-13^ 



LATER HELLENISM. 



385 



thought upon itself came to consciousness in Socrates. 
The far more advanced scepticism of Carneades might in 
turn have been succeeded by some great positive doctrine, 
had philosophy continued creative. As it was, philosophy 
could make reply only with Eclecticism, which amounted 
scarcely to a novel application of time-worn doctrines. 
Scepticism had denied the possibility of knowledge ; 
Eclecticism was a practical admission that knowledge 
could not be found unless among existing systems. It 
was no organic system growing from itself by virtue of 
some proper vital principle, but a patchwork of many- 
sourced opinion. It added nothing to human thought, 
although suggesting modes of comparing and reconciling 
doctrines apparently adverse, yet always with the chance 
of introducing more insidious inconsistency through 
glossing over what could not be reconciled. 

There were palpable causes for the spread of Eclecticism, 
Zeno and Chrysippus, Epicurus, I'yrrho, naturally laid 
stress on the distinguishing traits of systems which they 
founded- The three schools, however, started near the 
same time, under the same influences, led by like aims, 
and continued to e.vist side by side. Points of com- 
parison and coincidence would be noticed, and the habit 
of comparing doctrines and borrowing from each other 
would grow among philosophers whose powers of origi- 
nation were scanty. The sceptic theory of probabilities 
made for Eclecticism ; and the demands on Greek philoso- 
phy arising from the practical characters of the m^l3tcrs 
of the world impelled philosophers to gather from any 
ready source whatever appeared plain and serviceable. 
So men of all the schools, and especially those who dwelt 
at Rome or occupied themselves instructing Romans, were 
eclectics, whatever name they bore. Finally appears the 
prince of eclectics who shall compose philosophic trea- 
tises in noble Latin out of opinions indifferently taken 
from the Stoics, the .'Academy, the Peripatetics, or even 
from the Epicureans on whom he looks with most 
unfriendly eye. 



CHAPTER XII. 



THE GENIUS OF ROME. 



ALTHOUGH, in the great days of Greece, the 
Greeks set above all the glory of the state, their 
own lives were too intense to be mei^ed in social 
and political organization.' Sacrifices for the city might 
be made with fervor; but they were always conscious 
RoQuui sacrifices, the rational surrender of a smaller 
Character- thing for a greater. The Greek's instinctive 
istics. nature pressed towards the satisfaction of his 

own desires, the fulfilment of his own life, the free aod 
complete development of himself. So, whenever a pub- 
lic crisis was passed, he turned naturally to other afiairs 
than building up the state. The few Greek cities that 
gained some breadth of power did not hold it long. 
Empire exacts such entire devotion as was found at 
Rome. 

Roman life brought no such free development of the 
individual. Purpose and energy in Rome had few and 
definite objects. There, as elsewhere, environment, 
character, and institutions worked upon each other; the 
environment and character fashioning fit and characteristic 
institutions, the latter, in their working, preserving and 
strengthening the character. For example, at Rome, an 
office originally of narrow powers, created to relieve the 
consuls from the charge of numbering and assessing the 
citizens, broadened its compass to an authoritative super- 
vision of the lives and conditions of men, and became 
' Sparti appears u an exception hen. 
386 



THE GENIUS OF ROME, 



387 



the most revered of Roman dignities. Conversely, the 
Censor's functions reacted on the community which had 
acquiesced in them, working' good, yet hampering free 
growth and individuality/ Fundamental traits of Roman 
character are suggested by the words bonus, gravis^ tenax^ 
dignitas, snieritas, fides, all of which had somewhat differ- 
ent meaning from the derived or corresponding terms in 
modern use. There was early a temple to Fides at Rome, 
and the word, as expressing the principle of steadfast 
holding to the performance of what has solemnly been 
promised, corresponded to the more idealizing Greek 
qualities indicated by the word dr^J&JS", and sanctioned by 
the thought of viftsffts. 

To order well his house and serve the state was the 
compass of the duty, the compass of the life, of a Roman. 
To order well his house with respect to things divine and 
human, to accumulate wealth in his family and civic 
honors through the discharge of public office, made up 
his life within the walls of Rome; beyond those walls life 
meant defence of the city and all its hearths, and the 
increase of its power and possessions. To the ful61mcnt 
of this life all qualities and principles approved in a citi- 
zen contributed — energy, gravity, self-control, valor, forti- 
tude, tenacity of purpose, adherence to his solemn word, 
insistance on his rights, intelligence, and definite con- 
ception of ends as well as means, order, obedience, and 
stem command, and insatiate desire to conquer and 
acquire for the city and himself. These traits, which 
made Rome great, are exhibited by her history; they 
constituted her morality and religion ; they were exempli- 
fied in the Roman family and stamped upon the Roman 
law. It may be that they were shown most marvellously 
in the ability of self-government under a constitution 
containing palpable elements of deadlock and overthrow; 
for Roman co-ordinate magistrates could act without 
their colleagues, as well as forbid their colleagues to act ; 
' See Mommsea. I/itt. of Romi^ vol. i, p. 551 (bk. ii, ch. viii). 



388 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



the function of the Roman tribune was to interdict, and 
the Roman dictator had absolute power. When this 
abiiity failed the Romans, despotism came; but, before 
then, the Mediterranean world was subjected to the 
imperial self-governing Republic. 

Rome was the strongest community of Latium. She 
fought her way to leadership among her Latin kin, and 
with added power advanced to the conquest of neighbor- 
ing cities, and so, continually gathering strength and 
impetus, to the subjugation of all Italy. Her site was 
one of natural strength, with the advantages without the 
dangers of a seaport/ for merchant vessels could come 
up the river. The Tiber was also a protection against the 
Etruscans; but Roman armies could always cross bridges 
overhung by the city's walls. The situation was central, 
adapted for conquest in all directions. The Romans 
could not have conquered or held Italy from Neapoh's or 
Tarcntum; and after Italy was united under Rome, and 
the agonies of the war with Hannibal had been sustained. 
Rome would not have acquired universal empire — or had 
it thrust upon her by circumstances — but for the central 
situation of the Italian peninsula among Mediterranean 
lands. It made for the rise and continuance of Roman 
empire over other countries, that the nations having 
greatest powers of resistance were nearest Italy, or, at 
least most exposed to Roman attack. Mighty Carthage 
lay just across the Mediterranean, nor did Rome finally 
conquer in Africa until the Punic power had been broken 
in Sicily and Italy. The exigencies of the Punic war* 
called for the conquest of Spain, a countr>' which offered 
resistance without end, but never resisted unitedly. The 
Gauls possessed the north of Ital)-; Rome conquered 
them in self-preservation. And to the east, had the situ- 
ations of Macedonia and Greece been interchanged with 
those of Asia Minor and Syria, Rome might not ha^x 
overthrown the kingdom of Philip. Rome conquered 

' See Cic, De Repukli<a, ii, 4. 



THE GENIUS OF ROME. 



389 



■ 




Macedonia which lay near, and there was little power of 
resistance in the countries farther to the east, till Parthia 
was reached, which Rome never conquered. 

The ancient songs of Italy, comic ribald verses, or 
barbarous lines of chant, have passed away. They seem 
never to have risen above their occasional character and 
primitive rudeness. The periods of Rome's growth and 
greatest native strength produced no literature.' At a 
remote period, archives of the temple of Capitoline Jupiter 
were kept. These " Fasti " contained the names of the 
magistrates, and gradually events of the year came to be 
entered, till they grew to be annals ; but they never became 
connected narrative. Rome was in the sixth century of 
her existence before history was written. Slight also was 
the native impulse toward sculpture, though the Romans 
early became great builders. Appius Claudius (Censor 
312 B.C.) built the Appian Way and the first great aque- 
duct. Many colossal undertakings followed, deepened 
channels for draining districts of country, military roads, 
and fortresses. The Romans made wide use of the arch, 
which they may have borrowed ; but they did not borrow 
the energy and toil which made their works mighty and 
enduring. That the fifth centurj' of the city brought 
some artistic impulse, is shown by the bronze she-wolf of 
the Capitol.' But the direct thought, the stern ideas, the 
energy, the courage and fortitude of the Roman Republic 
are not to be sought in artistic or literary accomplish- 
ment. 

The strength of character by which Rome achieved 
empire, and the clear narrow mental vision of the Ro- 
mans, their logic and reliance on its conclusions,,^ „ .. 
...... ^, „ The Family. 

appear m domestic institutions. I he Roman 

family consisted of all the members, past, present, and 

' Sec Teaflel-Schwabc, Misery e/ Roman Literature (l8qi), vol. i. p. 118 
of English translation; and MonnnscD, Roman Hifi., bk. iii, ch. xiv. 
Compare Prof. NetU«hip's somewhat different ricw, " Enrliest Italiu 
literature," in Lectures and Essays. 

* Probafaly cast in 296 B.c. 



390 



ANCIENT WEALS. 



future, except daughters of the house who by marriage 
had entered other families.' Its ties were blood relation- 
ship, the worship of the same household gods, and com- 
mon sacrifice to the same ancestors, whose images gave 
glory to the solemn funeral of each warrior laid in his 
grave. That the members should pass away was natural; 
that this great religious and social entity should be 
blotted out, and all its gods and spirits be left unap- 
peased. was a calamity, to be guarded against by adop- 
tion if natural members failed.' The living members 
were made one under the absolute authority of the head 
of the house. 

The patria po/estas was a power quite different in prin- 
ciple from a master's over his slaves. That existed for 
the master's good; slaves were his chattels. But the 
patria potestas was to be exercised for the good of the 
entire house — ^hcrcin lay its idea! justification — and for 
the good of the state. It was a duty ' not to be renounced, 
a power of life and death, which a sense of justice in its 
possessor and his love of child and wife should preserve 
from abuse. If the father could take the life of the son. 
it might still be that he would sooner die for him ; he was 
free to accept or reject a child at birth ; the right of 
exposure was his; ' but what stronger desire had he than 
to continue his family, what clearer duty towards the 
state than to bring up warriors and the mothers of warri- 
ors for his country's service ? He could sell any member 

' Nor did dai^biers' sons belong to the family, because, if born in wedlock, 
they belonged to another family, if born out of wedlodc, ihey wen {^aim, 
belonging to no famil)*. 

* Adoption brought the adoptive Min into the position of a Mm bom is 
marriage. This principle was carried out in all its consequences. €.g.. be 
inlierited equally, and he could not marry hts adopUrc father's daugtller any 
more than if she were his natural sister. 

' It bound the father lo educate and so rear his son as to fit him for his 
position In the community. For flagrant neglect of this duty ■ father might 
be publicly prosecuted. — Sec I. ivy, ^^i. 4. 5. 

* Mommsen. ib.. bk. i, ch. 5. But the right of exposure wu soon re- 
stricted. See DioD, a, 15 ; Brans, FonUs JmrU Ai^iqm, 4th ed.. p. 7. 



THE GENIUS OF ROME, 



39» 



of his household ; ' but though no punishment was 
attached to the act, a father who sold his wife or married 
son was held accursed.' Of course neither wife nor child 
had rights of property as against the father. Only the 
later law recognized the separate rights of the son to 
property acquired as a soldier or othcruise in the service 
of the state.* The son owed the father obedience and 
respect. He who struck or reviled his father became 
forfeited to his father's gods;* and the early law had no 
punishment for parricide, because, as was said, the crime 
was not conceived.' But the patria potcstas did not 
exist solely for the sake of the family; and, moreover, 
direct public duties were always paramount at Rome. 
Hence the father's power ceased when incompatible with 
the exigencies of the state. So long as the son held a 
high magistracy, he was free from the patria potcstas, 
and. by virtue of his office, had command over his father 
as over other citizens,* 

The wife's position was one of dignity. Her duties 
lay within the house, to rear her children, direct the maid 
servants, and spin. She was subject to the jurisdiction, 
not of the state, but of her husband advised by a council 
of relatives, hers as well as his; and to him was she 
answerable. So the unmarried daughter was subject to 
her father, and the fatherless unmarried daughter to her 
nearest male relatives, tracing the relationship through 

* By law of XII Tables, if the father sold the scr three times, on tlie third 
emancipation by the purchaser the son did not return to ihc patria poteitas, 
but became free from it. See Bnins, ih., p. 30 : cf. Gaiui, i, 13a. 

* Mommsen, I'A, , bk. i, ch. 5 ; but according to Dion, ii, 27 {Bruns. I'i., 
p. q), a law of Numa forbade the sale of a son whom the father had per- 
milted to many and establish a separate hoiuebold. 

" PecuHum castrfHSt and tjuasi eastreuse. 

' Law of Servtus TullJus, sec Bnins, p. 14— jJw^r divis parentum saeer 
ttt9. There was the same provision as to a daughter-in-law, Bntos, p. 7. 

* See Plutarch, /iemulus, 22. All morder seems to have been called 
Parricidium . 

' Cf. I.ivy, xxir, 44. So likewise was a daaghter free on becoming a 
vestal virgin. 



39* 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



The State. 



males {agnatio).^ Woman's virtue was chastity, which 
the Romans, according to their character, esteemed more 
seriously than the Greeks, with whom it was as a talc 
that is told." 

Thus, within the house, all human beings were bound by 
duties, which with wives and children might appear more 
palpably in the guise of obedience. None the less was 
the father bound by duties in the exercise of his author- 
ity, moral obligations to the members of his family, and 
formal obligations to the state respecting them. From 
beside the hearth arose the sternest of Roman ideals. 
which, as the guiding genius of every Roman, was to 
control him in the forum and inspire him on the battle- 
field, — the duty to obey, the duty to command aright. 

The most primitive tribe or state diflfers from a family 
in that it is composed of a number of grown men whose 
wives and children have no separate political 
existence, while a typical family consists of one 
strong man, and a wife and children dependent on him 
through their inferior strength and wisdom. Another 
necessary difTerence is that the position of the house- 
father arises by nature, while the position of the rrx is 
based on some form of selection. The original constitu- 
tion of the Roman state was that of the Roman family 
modified by the two facts, that a state is composed of a 
number of grown men, and that the position of the king 
is based on convention.' 

' The wife or anuuuTied daughter iohehted eqaally with sons, UuMt^dia 
held her property under the gn&rdianship of her relotivei. See Gnu, m. 
1-4 ; i. 44. 45- 

* Great respect was shown lo women at Rome, nor were Ihey k^ 
secluded within the bouse. Sons respected tbcti mothers ; and fttll the 
nieiaoi7 endures of Cornelia the mother of the Gimcchi ; a woman, hov- 
ever, not bom in the early limes of the Republic nor educated aflcr iB 
traditions. 

'This last was strictly trae at Rome (where the notion of the diviiw rig^t 
of kings did not exist) and wa& implied in the principle that, though abvolate. 
the imjurimm of the king was an impcrium ie^itimum—i.e., related to ct 
based on Uw or agreement. 




THE GENIUS OF HOME. 



393 



The ultimate power of an early community, however 
slight the ordinary functions of this power may be, resides 
in that body of men from whom the authority of the 
king originally emanated. Hence, at Rome, although 
after the analogy of the family and in accordance with 
primitive usages the king was invested with absolute 
authority in peace and war over every individual^ the 
supreme power was in the assembly of the housefathers, 
where it lay latent usually, restricting itself to changes in 
the fundamental constitution of the city. As the city 
grew, — probably by a union of kindred and contiguous 
communities, — a smaller circle of advisers gradually made 
a third among its constitutional factors. According to 
the old tradition, the community was composed of ten 
curi^, each composed of ten clans or gentcs, each one of 
which in its turn consisted of ten families. As the greater 
assembly would consist of the housefathers, so each clan 
might have an elder, and one elder from each of the 
hundred clans would constitute the assemblage of elders 
(senatus). And whenever the three traditional communi- 
ties of the Ramncs, Titles, and Luccres united in the 
City of the Seven Hills, there would be three thousand 
householders, and three hundred clan elders, forming 
respectively the greater assembly of the people and the 
senate. Even this uncertain outline of the primitive 
Roman constitution illustrates the characteristics of the 
people. They chose their king, and with grand obedi- 
ence, reasoning clearly from the analogy of the family, 
they gave htm absolute power. Equal freemen as they 
were, they would obey the one of themselves whom they 
set over them; they would endure harshness and cruelty 
in him — these were traits of their own character — so long 
as he ruled as a leader of the state, and not as a tyrant 
for his pleasure. 

The early condition of affairs at Rome portended a 
threefold political and social struggle.' The authority of 
' See Mommsen, ib., bk. ii, ch. i. 



394 



ANCIENT WEALS. 



the king was too absolute to suit the character and cir- 
cumstances of a race growing in power and in 

ir* , .^ consciousness of might. Kingships among 
Threefold ,t ,, . . , ,- ..*'., . 

RcTOtution. Hellenic and Italian communities usually ceased 

as the people became more conscious of polit- 
ical rights and conceived other schemes of government. 
As soon as men were capable of devising further forms of 
election and better adjusted modes of delegating author- 
ity, a revolution was prepared and would occur at the 
king's first flagrant outrage.' Hence the first constitu- 
tional struggle at Rome was to abolish kingship and bring 
the powers of the chief magistracy into cumpatibitity with 
political liberty. This did not mean a diminution of the 
sovereignty of the government, but rather enhanced the 
devotion of the citizens to a commonwealth which was 
now more palpably theirs. Nor was this a revolution 
which promoted the free development of individuality, 
for it bound the citizens by duties that became sterner 
and more engrossing as the citizen rose to influence and 
command ; the consul must be prepared to punish even 
his son with death for disobedience, or formally to sacri- 
fice his own life for Rome.' 

The expulsion of the kings, the creation of the consul- 
ship, and the consequent reorganization of the government 
were the acts of the Populus Romanus, that is to say, the 
body of bui^csses or patricii. Besides these, there were 
other residents of Rome, who did not belong to the oW 
Roman clans, but had placed themselves under the 

' See anit, p. 34^ et seq. 

'The introduction of the principle of plursl and co-ordtnale iiugistntn 
holding iK>wcr for a limited period wai the great tncaiitirc which restricted 
the magisterial power. For example, each consul had full power by hiai. 
self ; they need not act together ; but tb« equally sapremc power of one— 
to use a phra.se as incon.s.i$tent ok the theory of the consulship — prerented 
danger from the other. The formal conservatism of the Roman cbanctcf 
is illu-ttrated by the revolution which overthrew the monarchy, as weU as by 
that which established the empire under Augustus. The restrictiotis oo tke 
consuls' powers were practical, while formally the kingly prerogatives n- 
mained.— C/. Livy, ii, i. The consol was elected for a year, y«i ia law 



THE GEfflUS OF ROME. 



395 



patronage of sonic Roman house, as ciientcs, or simply 
dwelt in the city without poHtical rights {plebs). As the 
Patricians had no thought of sharing their rule with these, 
a further and distinct phase of revolution consisted in the 
gradually enforced demand of the Plebs for a share in 
the government and for social equality before the law. 
During two centuries of refusal and persistence, the m^is- 
tracies were opened tu the Plebs, marri:ige between 
Plebeians and Patricians was allowed. Plebeians obtained 
full equality with the Patricians, and decrees of the 
assembly of the Plebs acquired force of law. M:trk the 
Roman qualities which this struggle displayed, obstinacy 
on the one side, persistence on the other, and a self- 
control and power of self-government, which through 
many bitter years kept within the bounds of peaceful 
civil contention that struggle which in a Greek city usually 
meant the sanguinary expulsion of one party by the other. 
The fortitude which upheld Rome through crushing de- 
feats by Gauls, Epirots, and Carthaginians, had its coun* 
terpart in the forbearance of the bloodless secessions to 
the Sacred Mount. 

The equalization of the orders within the city did not 
end this struggle, the last phases of which were to be 
bloody. The demands which the Plebs had enforced for 
themselves, they agreed with the Fathers in refusing to the 
Latins. Hot was the wrath of Rome at the demand that 
one consul and half the senate should be taken from the 
Latin cities;' and not even the exhaustion of the city 
after Cannse overcame the government's repugnance lo 

migbl hold over tnd coukl not be depu«ic<t ; he named hit own succcuor 
like ihc king, bul in fact ihc election lay wilh the people. The Roman 
c-oncepiion of a magislratc uf every kind was derived from the conception of 
the monarchical chief magislralc, the rex. Consequently, whatever might 
hv the occasion of a niagi<>trate')i appointment , whatever special (unction be 
might be created to fnllil, it was only through gradual republican education 
that the Romans reached a clear conception uf limited magtstcriat powers. 
— See Momrosen, ii., vol. i, p. 401, etc. 
' 340 »,C., Livy, viii, 5, etc. 



39^ 



ANCIENT WEALS. 



grant senators to the Latins, who equally with Rome 
had sustained the war; " Let us forget this proposal has 
been made," said Fabius Maximus.' The demands thus 
refused were afterwards extorted for all Italy by the ter- 
rors of the Social war,* when Rome's existence was threat- 
ened by the equal strength and arms of her Italian 
subject -allies. Though the sword of Sulla preserved the 
honors of the war for Rome, she yielded to the unveiled 
necessity, and the Roman franchise became the common 
right of all Italians. Thus Italian nationality gained 
political unity, and the intellect and strength of all Italy 
were more than ever at the service of the Republic whose 
hours were even then numbered. Free institutions which 
had been developed through the exigencies of a civic 
community, might not, when that community's power of 
self-government was waning, be expanded to the govern- 
ment of an empire. 

The remaining phase of domestic contention was 
economic rather than political, merely the particular 
form taken at Rome by the universal struggle between 
the poor and rich. The rich creditors asserted their 
strength in severe laws for the recovery of debts, while 
the poor never gave up the struggle for equitable distribu- 
tion of conquered public lands and for legislation to pre- 
vent the rich from monopolizing the possession of them 
{ieges agrariee).'* This naturally was the mode of conten- 
tion exhibiting fewest noble traits. The Roman charac- 
ter was grasping in all respects; Romans were a wealth- 
getting race. Through the agrarian struggle the ridi 
were insatiate, the poor dogged ; the struggle became 
demoralizing to both; and distributions of the public 

* Liry, xxiii, 22. 

* 9i-«8 B.C. 

' Conquered land and other spoil belooged to the state. The sutc. ac 
leut so far ai concerned conqaered Inad. was regarded as the coDtinatoc 
owner, the cLtiEea as baring onlr the use. This land was ager pn^Htrnt. ite 
citizen acquired poisestifi thereof through canctisio from the statc^ftdbt*. 
JmtHtmtioHen, i. 40. 



THE GENIUS OF ROME. 



397 



The Final 

Political 

Develop- 

ment. 



land — not in themselves unjust — and the manner in which 
they were brought about, went to prepare the way for 
proletariate customs and legislation tending to pauperize 
the masses. 

In view of the character and circumstances of the Ro- 
mans, what form was the government likely to assume in 
the culminating period of the Republic, the 
period of the second Punic war ? Rome was 
not likely to produce individuals of overshad- 
owing greatness ; her institutions tended 
towards moulding her dtizens alike. Every 
citizen was bound by duties and enveloped with customs, 
which made of him a useful member of the common- 
wealth, but hampered his individuality. It was likely 
that the government of Rome would be strong in its 
entirety, but not brilh'ant through the genius of indi- 
viduals. Further, though the Roman was obstinate, 
he could recognize necessity, and forbear. It was likely 
that all classes at Rome, that which stood for dignity and 
ancestral honor, that which stood for wealth, and that 
which represented strength through numbers, would be 
given representation. And finally, since the Romans had 
clear perception of worth and ability, and strong capacity 
for abnegation when required, it was likely that, so long 
2S Roman character stood firm, the government would 
be left with those best able to carry it on. 

The course of the Republic accorded with these proba- 
bilities. The greatness of the government always 
towered above its members; it long continued mainly in 
the hands of those best fitted to govern, and, to use the 
ancient modes of expression, it combined and held in 
equilibrium the elements of royalty, of aristocracy, and 
of democracy. Such certainly was its ideal, as shown by 
the language of Cicero, who loved the Republic as one 
might a dear friend dying before his eyes.' And it so 
impressed a keen observer, the Greek Polybius, friend of 
' /V Rep. . ii. 33 : «/• '^•. t a* 



398 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



the younger Africanus. Speaking with reference to the 
lime of Canns, he says; " As for the Roman constitu- 
tion, it had three ctemcnts, each of them possessing sove- 
reign powers; and their respective share of powers in the 
whole state had been regulated with such a scrupulous 
regard to equality and equilibrium, that no one could say 
for certain, not even a native, whether the constitution 
as a whole were an aristocracy or democracy or despotism. 
And no wonder; for if we confine our observation to the 
power of the consuls, we should be inclined to regard it as 
despotic; if to that of the senate, as aristocratic; and if 
finally one looks at the power possessed by the people, ii 
would seem a clear case of democracy." ' Polybius then 
gives a description of the powers of consuls, senate, and 
people, faithfully reflecting, even in its inconsistencicss 
the characteristics of a government which, as the slow out- 
growth of custom, circumstance, and occasional legislation, 
presented many contradictions. Yet he fails to set forth 
the fact that the government of Rome had become above 
all a government by the senate. 

It may be that the Roman senate was at 6rst an 
assembly of clan-elders. But whatever 'its composition 
Senatoria.! '" times of which nothing is known save by 
GoTcm- inference, admission to the senate in early 
ment. historic periods depended on the choice of the 

king, then on that of the consuls, then, though in a more 
circumscribed mode, on the discretion of the censors.' 
The Ovinian law,' which substituted the censore' con- 
firmation for the consular power of nomination, made the 
choice of at least some of the senators dependent indi- 
rectly on the vote of the people. For it seems to have 
given provisionally a seat in the senate to every consul, 
pr^tor, or curule aedile. But it authorized the censors 
to exclude any one for cause; and further, since these 

' Polybittx, vi, ti, Schackburgh's translation. 

' See Mommsen. R$mit(kii Staatir^kt, iii. a. 854, tt sey. : fl»., Mf'^tM 
History, book ii, ch. tii (fol. i, p. 407). 
* Circa 313 B.C. 



THE GENIUS OF ROME, 



399 



offices might not suffice to keep up i\\c number of the 
senate to three hundred — a number traditional as well as 
practically needful— ^the censors were given the power to 
name further senators. Thus the larger and more influ- 
ential part of the senate came to owe its choice — for life 
— to an indirect mode of popular election. In the course 
of time a life-senatorship was also attached to the offices 
of quaestor and tribune. 

At first the consul's choice of senators had undoubtedly 
been restricted to Patricians. The senate appears to 
have been opened to Plebeians as they ^adually made 
good their eligibility to the magistracies. Nevertheless, 
as it had been a Patrician body, so it continued aristo- 
cratic, and was composed principally of Patricians and 
members of prominent Plebeian families, which had 
become ennobled through their wealth and the attain- 
ment of the higher magistracits, which brought the right 
to exhibit on public occasions the images of ancestors. 
The senate was never an hereditary body, nor, during the 
Republic, self-perpetuating. Not only was admission 
to it open to all citizens who had reached the requisite 
age, but its membership would necessarily include all 
those who, through position, wealth, or individual ability, 
had attained the magistracies. Thus, practically, all 
leading citizens became members. Their life position as 
senators was more to them than their short possession of 
magisterial powers; and even while magistrates, they 
would be under the influence of that body which in- 
cluded their relatives and friends and natural peers. So 
the senate combined with its aristocratic spirit an esprit 
efc corps, rising from the consciousness of permanent 
power as a body. It was continually recruited with fresh 
blood and strength; and if it represented primarily an 
upper class, that class had to be, through the conditions 
of its existence and recognition as such, the best and 
strongest in the community.' 

' C/. Cicero, Pro Ststic, 65. 



400 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



So, by the general operation of circumstances, by tl 
strong conservatism of the Roman character, by Roman 
forbearance and desire that the ablest should rule, and 
finally through the broad tendency of Roman life and 
institutions to evoke a high average of character and 
ability in its citizens, and control exceptional individual 
genius, the powers of government, during the great 
periods of the Republic, centred in the senate. It was a 
broad, silent principle of Roman constitutional law, 
sprung from reverence for authority, that the edict or 
command of a magistrate, though based on no formal 
law, and therefore exceeding his conceded powers, sliouid 
be valid in itself, at least during his term of office. This 
principle would foster the growth of senatorial power. A 
decree of the senate, irrespective of contents, carried the 
weightiest authority, and on its face was entitled to 
obedience. It was, however, the senate's most significant 
formal right to consider previously the decrees to be pro- 
posed by the magistrates to the assemblies of the people. 
This was the constitutional basis of its power, the growth 
and maintenance of which it justified by its corporate 
greatness and tlie mighty mode in which it administered 
the affairs of Rome. Nowhere else were Roman traits 
shown more grandly — Roman courage, fortitude, persist- 
ence, insight of affairs, and energy ; and Roman forbear- 
ance too ; for the senate neither sought to deprive the 
people of their ultimate sovereignty, nor to reduce the 
magistrates to lifeless tools of a bureaucrac>*. 

The Roman power of obedience, perfected by discipline 

and made efficient through the practical genius of the 

race, was shown in the army. Under the Ser- 

MiliUr7 y\2,xi military constitution, the infantry unit 

OrgftTtigi- 

tion ^^'^ *^*^ legion,' a body of three thousand 

heavy-armed men, formed for battle in the old 

Doric style, six in file, with a front of five hundred. To 

>.'>ee Mommsen, ITitt., vol. i, p, 13a, et «y.y &iid cf. ih., pp. tol, 331. 
559. ft «». 




THE GENIUS OF ROME, 



401 



^ 



these were attached twelve hundred light-armed. The 
completely equipped holders of an entire hide of land 
made the first four ranks, the less completely equipped 
members of the second and third classes made the two 
rear ranks; while the light-armed troops were made up 
from the poorest classes. 

From the earlier form, the manipular legion was devel- 
oped, the line of which in front was divided into ten 
bands of two maniples each, while in each maniple every 
soldier occupied a space of six feet square. These bands 
were separated into three divisions, tiastati, priticipes, 
and triarii. Only the triarii retained the thrusting 
spear, while the first two divisions were armed with the 
pilum, a heavy javelin, to be cast in volleys into the hos- 
tile ranks, after which the legion charged, sword in hand.' 
The legionaries were now classed according to length of 
ser\'ice, the recruits forming the bands of skirmishers, 
from which they were advanced to the first, second, 
and third divisions of the legion. To know his place 
in the ranks and keep it in every danger was the first 
duty of a legionary, to which he was trained by constant 
practice and strict discipline enforced by the severest 
punishments. Yet because of the free internal order of 
each legion, the line of battle could be drawn to meet any 
circumstances, and as rapidly changed, and reinforce- 
ments could be pushed to the front through the files of 
the legions engaged. The principle of the Roman battle 
was absolute obedience, with sufficient freedom of action 
to render the obedience more effective. 

If the legionary knew his place in the march and battle, 
he knew it also in the camp, which was always laid out 
on the same plan, so that at the end of a day's march, — 
a military tribune with centurions having gone before and 



' Minus finally abolished the dtstinctioos between these classes ind 
reduced the legion to grcftter unifonnity. He divided the l^on into ten 
cohorts, instead of thirtjr maniples. See MommseD, Hut., book ir, cit. n 
(vol. iii. pp. 342-945). 



VOL, I. — 16 




402 



ANCIENT WEALS. 



selected the location, fixed the consul's tent, and drawn 
the lines for the tents of the tribunes, — each legion on 
arriving, and every soldier, knew where to go as in his 
native town.' Roman camps were drawn and fortified 
with the same care whether in friendly or hostile territorj-. 
No feature of the Roman military system is more impres- 
sive than the efiRciency of the legionaries as workmen and 
the enormous labors undergone by them.' 

The Roman military urganizatlon would have been 
impossible, as it would have been useless, but for the 
character of the Roman people. It could not have been 
attained without such unabated devotion through centu- 
ries to the art of war as only Rome was capable of, and 
an army wherein each soldier, fighting as it were singly, 
with free space between himself and his comrades, unim- 
peded by them and unsustained by the strength of shield 
to shield, shoulder to shoulder, would, without the un- 
yielding valor and mighty obedience of the Roman citi- 
zen-soldier, have become a mob at the first onset of battle. 
Rome was obedience, Rome was sternness, Rome was 
devotion. Manlius Torquatus, before going out to kill 
the insolent Gaul, asks the consul's permission; after- 
wards, when himself consul, the same Manlius executes 
his son for a like feat done in disobedience to orders, and 
with his colleague Decius, the great I'lebcian, is ready to 
devote himself to the infernal gods for Rome. It was on 
Decius that the fortune came to accomplish this self-sac- 
rifice' And as for Roman fortitude. Li\'y might truly 
say of his people, who never spoke of peace after Cannae. 
" Nulla profecto alia gens tanta mole cladis non obruta 
esset." * True are the words which he puts into the 

* Polybius, vi, 41. For the strict discipline of the camp, see ik.^ vi, 97, 
et stq. 

* Cf. Polybius. vi, 4a. 

■This was in the Latin war, B.C. $40, See Livy, viii, 6, ^ seq. Th« son 
of Decius, when consal for the third time, followed his father's example in 
battle with the Gaols. — Livjr. x, 38. 

* Livj, nil, 54. See the latter part of his twenty-second book generaUjr. 
The Romans refused to ransom the prisoners captured fay Hannibal at 



THE GENIUS OF ROME. 



405 



Intenuh- 

tloiiAl 

Ethics. 



ith of Scipio Africanus taking command of his soldiers 
Ipain: "It is ever our fated portion that, conquered, 
we conquer. I pass over ancient matters — Porsenna, the 
Gauts, the Samnitcs. I need mention only the Punic 
wars, in the first of which what fleets, what leaders, what 
armies have we lost! and why recall the present war? 
Trebia, Trasimcnus, Cann^, — what are they but monu- 
ments of Roman armies and consuls slain ? Add the 
defection of Italy, of the ^eater part of Sicily, of Sar- 
dinia, and that final terror, the Punic camps and Hannibal 
before the walls, — amidst this universal rnin has stood 
single, erect, and immovable the courage of the Roman 
people, till it has raised its fortunes from the ground," ' 

The rules of conduct which the Republic set itself 
to observe regarding other peoples illustrate Roman char- 
acter. The state's aggrandizement was the 
dominant motive. Rome's function in the 
world was to conquer and subdue and civilize, 
— the last wrought out without much conscious 
intent on her part. Her imperial purpose was conceived 
only with the gradual fulfilment of her destiny. Rome 
under the kings, Rome under the Republic, at least until 
after the Punic wars when the world came hurrjnng to 
bow down before her, had always some near object in 
view, some strenuous defence against a pressing foe, some 
town or country to subdue in order to satisfy her ven- 
geance or secure her safety. But whatever the end, she 
willed it strongly, she willed it persistently; if baffled, 
she did not falter, and she always conquered at last. 
The safety, the welfare, the glory of her city, as it sanc- 
tified the pouring forth of her own blood, so did it justify 
the slaughter of her foes. 

Roman ethics demanded a definite justification for 
aggression, and set the mode in which war should be 
begun and carried on. A war should be justum and 

CuiDsc, and even those soldiers who escaped were treated ax disgraced. — 
LJ*¥. 25. 31 ; xsv, 5-7 ; Polybius, vi, 58. 
' Liv7, xzvi, 41. 



404 



AtfCtEi^T WEALS. 



pium: in some way the fault must lie, or be made to lie, 
with the enemy.' The Romans and other Italian p€ople^ 
felt that a war rising from an unrighteous cause would 
prove unfortunate.' That was a just war which was 
undertaken for revenge, or to repel an enemy or protect 
an ally.' " Our race/' says Cicero, perhaps not without 
irony, " has mastered the whole world by defending 
allies." * Besides needing a good cause, a war, to bcyW- 
tum and pium, should be formally declared,* and truces or 
treaties, if made with due formality, must be strictly 
adhered to; ^t/cs must be observed, — Regulus must 
return to Carthage.* But it was just as essential that a 
pact should be concluded with all formality,' as that it 
should be made by officers having authority. 

Sometimes the Romans, or a Roman general, chose to 
act up to higher principles of honor, as in the story of 
Fabricius sending bound to Pyrrhus the king's physician 
who had offered to poison him.' But often it accorded 
with their statecraft or necessities to make use of the rule 
that pacts informally concluded need not be obser\'ed. 
An extreme instance of this is the disavowal of the treaty 
made by the consuls and officers of the army with the 
Samnites at the Caudine Forks.* The consuls, Livy says. 
had declared to the Samnites their inability to make a 

I '* The Romans were wont to take great care not to Appear to be the 
aggressors, or to attack their neigbbois without provocation ; b«U to be oob- 
sideicd always to be acting in self-defence, and ontjr to enter on war nadcr 
compulsion." — Folybtu», Frag., xxviii (157), Scfauckborgh's trana. 

* Sec the speech of the Samnite rontiu», Li^7, ix, I. 
■ See Cicero. Dc Rep., ill, 33. 
•/*. 

• /*., ii, 17 ; Dt Officiis, i. xi, 36. 
•/*., i, xiii, 39-41. 
'< This idea is related to the technical and strict observance of religiou 

rites. Archaic gods punished only farmal breaches of faith, and acquiecoed 
in crafty literal performance. 

'The war with Pyrrhus was carried on in an exceptionaUy high-mitided 
way ; each side adhering hooonbly to its undertakiags. It was not a life- 
and<dcath slmggle. 

'See Livy, ia, 1-12, 




Tim aENIUS OF JtOME. 



405 



treaty (^faedus) without authority from Rome, nor could a 
treaty be concluded without fetiaUs, the priests whose 
formal office it was to conclude a treaty or declare a war. 
Hence, argues the historian, the consuls made t\o fctdus 
but a spans io ; that is to say, they and the officers of the 
army bound themselves under the surety given of six 
hundred hostages and their own faith, that Rome should 
ratify what they had agreed to.' Aftenvards, at Rome 
Postumius, one of the consuls, freed the government from 
its dilemma by proposing that he and the others who had 
joined in the pact should be given up to the Samnites as 
guilty. Accordingly they were carried to Samnium and 
delivered to the enemy by the /f/ia/fs, with these words: 
" Since these men, unauthorized by the Roman people, 
have promised that a treaty should be made and have 
been guilty of that crime, therefore, that the Roman 
people may be freed from this guilt, I deliver you these 
men." 

If the Romans had caught the Samnites in such a snare 
as the Caudine Forks, probably they would have exacted 
no severer terms than those Rome had set before herself 
to obtain as the object of the war, and which she was 
prepared to adhere to in victory as well as defeat. When 
Rome entered on a war with the purpose of utterly crush- 
ing the enemy, as in the Veicntinc or third Punic war, 
she carried out her purpose relentlessly and undeterred 
by disaster. The senatorial government of Rome, during 
its strong periods, always seems to judge beforehand what 
lies within the power of Rome to exact. Up to this limit, 
the senate would persist; but they did not let fortun- 
ate accidents lure them into demanding more than they 
had previously decided on. This was another phase of 

* In concluding %fadus the /etiaies, representing Ihc people, prayed that 
Jupiter would smite the people as the feiiaUs were about to smite the swine 
ihey were sacrificing, unless the people observed the treaty. — Livy, \x, 5, 

' Livy, ix, 10. The Samnites refused to accept them, and sent them back 
to the Roman camp and diemanded that, if the treaty were not ratified, the 
legions should be put back in the Caudine Forks. 




4o6 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



Religion. 



Roman forbearance and self-control, based on polit 
foresight. So it was that after overthrowing Antiochus, 
Scipio demanded no more than before the battle; ' while 
in another instance when, after a victory' over the Roman 
cavalry, Perseus tried to make peace, he found the 
Romans inexorable. " For this is a peculiarity of the 
Romans, which they have inherited from their ancestors, 
and are continually displaying, to show themselves most 
peremptory and imperious in the presence of defeat, and 
most moderate when successful.'** There was political 
justice, fides, in this stem insistance on that to which 
their power entitled them, and on no more. 

All Roman life was permeated with religion.* Accord- 
ing to the tradition, Romulus's supreme authority over 
the community of the Seven Hills was declared 
by flight of birds ; * and from the beginning the 
city's life was enveloped in religious observances. Romu- 
lus himself, as tradition says, was no less prominent in 
establishing these than in war. To him arc ascribed two 
" excellent props of the Republic," the auspicia and the 
senate.' Auspicia was a broad term covering every man- 
ner of observing signs and portents indicative of the 
future. The kings, after them the consuls and other high 
magistrates, represented the people before the gods as 
well as before men; their full authority was expressed by 
the words auspicinm impi-riumque, and the word auspkium 

' Polybius, oi, 17. 

■ Polybius. xxvij, 8, Schuckburgh's trim. Given more rheloricallr ni 
L4vy. xxxvii, 45. 

' Livy. V, 5 1-54. gives a grand speech to Camillas dissuading the people, 
after the destruction ot the city by the Gauls, from moving to Veii. The 
relifpous element U dominant in the speech : tite gods of Rome had there 
sigrtiried their favor to the people ; they coald not be moved. Komaa 
fortune could not be ptuclted up and set in another place ; the worship ol 
the gods in their chosen locality must be continued if the RaBans woaM 
prosper. 

' Livy, i, 7 . PluLordi, Ramnltu, 

* Cicero, De Jitp., ii. 10. N'uma added further o1>servances and priest- 
hoods, and tempered the minds of the people, See Livy, 1. ig. 20 ; </. 
Cicero, Df Rtp., ii. U- 



THE GENIUS OF ROME. 



407 



Stands first.' Only the magistrates might take the aus- 
pices for the people, the auguria from observing the 
Bight of birds, entrails of birds and beasts, and appear- 
ances of the heavens, and the &igna ex dirts, the extra- 
ordinary portents; alt of which came under that most 
important part of the magistrate's authority, his auspi- 
cium, which in the case of the consul enabled him to 
control the popular assembly as well as the times of setting 
forth on military expeditions, since no public act was 
done at Rome without a previous authoritative declara- 
tion of the favor of the gods.' 

That all Roman hfc, in the house, the forum, or the 
field, was ordered with reference to superhuman approval, 
hardly makes the Romans peculiar, since the lives of all 
ancient peoples moved in an environment of the super- 
human or divine, scarcely severable from things strictly 
human, if there were such.' Yet the characteristics of 
the Roman people, their virtues, what they approved in 
men, were impressed on their religion, and moulded it as 
they did other matters at Rome. 

The word religio — that which binds men through their 
fear of the gods^ — is distinctly Latin. It brought home to 
the Romans the element of obligation' developing into 
the conception of duty, Rctigio impo.sed formal, unvary- 
ing duties, extending through the man's entire life as he 
grew from youth to manhood, as he rose from private 
citizen to consul. In obedience to rule, in normal fulfil- 
ment of his duty, let the citizen serve the state; so let 
him serve the gods and obey them. The Roman religion 
was one of observance, sacrifice, and outward act. that in 

* Sn sI»o as Cicero plirasci^ it, I^g., iu, 3. lo, " Omiies magistratus aiu- 
piciain judiciumquc babtrnto." 

* One reason for withholding the connilship from Plebeians, was Uiat ihc 
consul took the AU8pice<>. which no Plcbeiac could take in early times, as uo 
one not belonging lo the original Roman families could represent Rome 
before the gods — See Livy, JVj 6. 

* The nil-pervading religious elements in andent inslttutions are well 
brooeht out in Fustcl de Coulnnges" La Cit,' Antique. 

* OtiigaHo, also distinctly Latin, and related to reKgio etymological ly. 



4o8 



ANCTENT IDEALS. 



no way searched the heart of the worshipper," — a system 
of rules which covered the circumstances of Roman life 
and bound the man to act so and not otherwise, bound 
him neither to fall short nor exceed. Even in worship he 
should be frugal and self-controlled ; his sacrifices to the^ 
gods should be what was strictly due them; he should 
not act the prodigal towards them any more than amor 
men. And yet this religion, which called for only what^ 
was due, might call for all. Rites were to propitiate the 
gods, and the gods in angry mood might demand a year's 
produce of the flocks and the special consecration of 
children born within that time (t'cr sacrum'w might even 
signify by yawning chasms or impending conflicts their 
demand for noble lives; whereupon the duty to propitiate 
the gods to the state calls on a citizen to leap into the 
gulf, calls on a consul to sacrifice his life in battle. 

A system strict and definite and all-embracing neede 
special expounders.' These were found in the sacre 
colleges of the augurs and pontifices, close corporations 
of men handing down among themselves sacred lore, 
especially knowledge relating to the aiispicia.* As inter- 
preters of the will of the gods, they attained great influ- 
ence in the state, where they could affirm an election to 
be inauspicious, or declare the divine will to forbid or 
require, as party interests might demand. But Rome did 
not become a hierarchy nor approach it. Priests, augurs, 
pontifices, never composed a distinct mediating class or 
obtained political power. Not they, but the magistrates 
represented the people before the gods, with authority to 
take the auspices.* The augur stood by, and at the 

' See the inlrodactory chaptera to Boissicr, Zn Jfetigion Romaiite. 

* Sc« Boissier, La Religion Romaint, chap, i, § 3. 

'Besides these, there were priests uid priestesses (/. ^. . vestal viigiai) 
devoted to the special worship of some god, 

^ Frequently, perhaps usually, the magtstrstes — consah or pneton — were 
■Imj pontifices or au£un. This preserved the lay or political spirit a( t^ 
Roman religion. There never could be any conflict between religion and 
the tlate, because tboK who presided over relicion vere sot a tep*rm 




7S GEAT/l/S OF KOME. 



409 



request of the magistrate^ gave him explanation or advice. 
So the priest did not represent the private worshipper 
before the god. The Roman appealed directly to the 
Penates or Lares within his house, or to Capitoline Jove, 
The priest might advise him how to appeal successfully. 
Thus, with all their ruligiousncss and formalism, the 
Romans kept their government secular. 

Roman worship was practical, unimaginative, as ap- 
pears from the earliest table of festivals — i\ic fvriie pub- 
licig. These included the day of the full moon {it/us) 
sacred to Jupiter, and the festival to Mars at the begin- 
ning of the year.' Then came festivals relating to the 
cultivation of corn and wine, the April festivals, when 
sacrifice was made to Teltus, the nourishing earth, to 
Ceres, goddess of germination and growth, to Pales, 
fecundating goddess of the flocks, to Jupiter as the 
protector of vines, and to Robigus (Mildew) the enemy of 
the crops. Then came the late summer festivals of the 
harvest, and festal days in winter to commemorate the 
blessing of well-stored granaries. There were also sailors' 
festivals to divinities of the sea and port and river, and 
festivals of handicraft ; and many were the festivals of 
household life, — to the spirits of the storcchamber, to 
the goddess of birth, and to the dead. So besides the 
blessings of his home, the Roman desired wealth and 
increase of flocks; and with the spread of the city grew 
the mercantile spirit, entering the religion, and taking gods 
from the market-place — Dcus Fidius, god of good faith, 
Fars Fortu7ia, goddess of luck, Mercurius, god of traffic' 

As the spirit of Roman religion helped to mould its 
votaries in normal types, so its own creations were typical 
divinities.' The plastic spirit of the Greeks had no coun- 

casle, and had always political rather th»n wiceitlotA) interests at heart. 
See Boissier, La /ietigivn JiomsitU, Introduction, chap. i. 

' The first of March. ' See Mommsen, Hisi., bk. i, du xil. 

' The Romans were given 10 worshipping the gods in groups, t.g., the 
Penates, or Lares, or Vesta and the Penates groapcd as tutclajy spirits of 
ibe household. 



410 



ANCIENT WEALS. 



terpart at Rome. As compared with the manifold beauty 
and color of the Greek religion, the Roman is a dim 
picture in the gray. The personalities of its gods were 
vague. Yet it gained in dignity and reverence. Neither 
crime nor weakness existed in the Roman pantheon. 
The Greek, sacrificing, looks up to heaven, the Roman 
sacrifices with veiled head.' And yet it is the Greek that 
feels the mystery, not the Roman, whose mind in re- 
ligion, as ever, is fixed upon the furtherance of some set 
thing. His religion knows no mystery, contains no 
secrets, except the names of tutelary gods, kept secret 
lest some enemy call them from his household or from 
Rome. The religion of the Greek might rise or sink, 
though never drop from beauty's sphere. But the 
Roman religion remains bound to the recognized needs 
and prescribed objects of the Roman state and the 
Roman household. 

As the characteristics of the Roman people appeared in 
their religion so were they also shown in the law, which 
_ partly grew out of it, and vividly exemplified 

the strict, logical spirit of Roman affairs. 
Likewise Roman respect for authority and wisdom was 
shown by the formal recognition of the rtsponsa prndrnti- 
urn as a source of law.' The Roman law as first known 
in the code of the Twelve Tables, has already passed 
those primitive stages where the main object of law is to 
substitute legal procedure for blood. It is a system strict 
and formal,* and already in the stage of development 
where the law seeks to enforce the intention of contract- 
ing parties if duly expressed. It allowed freedom in 

' C/, ^neiii. tti, 406. 

' The rtsponsa were published in a collection l>efore 100 B.C. 

' The following rcmRrks relotc to private civil Uw. The Ro 
criminal Uw of the Republic »]>raDt from the firovocatio. the riglit ol tli 
convicted to appeal from the sentence of the magistrate to the assembly o( 
the people. The ilcciiiionK of the people would nattmlly be swayed by 
party feelingti or fay {lassion or pity ; and consequently a regular and sa- 
varying system of criminal Uw hardly came into cxisteoce. 



THE. GENIUS OF ROME. 



411 



contracting,' nor were the formal modes, prescribed for 
entering into contractual relations, cumbersome. Yet 
they had to be strictly followed. For example, the 
words — Dart spondes ? Spondee* — created an obligation 
to perform as promised, which did not arise if the equiva- 
lent was uttered in Greek.' And the old mode of sale 
(mattcipium) was a formal matter; the purchaser in pres- 
ence of five witnesses declared the slave or other object 
to be his according to the law of the Quirites {ex jure 
Quiritium), " purchased by this copper and copper 
scale " ; whereupon with a piece of money he struck the 
scales held by the libripcns.* These forms of transaction 
gave strict rights, which could be enforced with formal 
exactitude by the /e^is actio sacrainento, a form of action 
in which the proof must correspond exactly with the 
demand, or the suit would fail.* In the old law the 
plaintiff had no further rights than what the law expressly 
gave him ; ' but these it would enforce with a severity 
only stopping short of wanton cruelty. 

The main features of the law of debtor and creditor as 
contained in the Twelve Tables are known, and afford 
apt illustration.** The debtor, summoned before the 
magistrate, must go ; if he went not willingly, the creditor 
brought witnesses and again summoned him in their 



< " Cum U'Cxam faciet manclpiuinqae, uti Hogua ntincupAssit, iU jtu esto." 
— Frag, of XIl Tahlet ; Bmns, FohUs yuris, p. 23. 

* The usual form for transacting a loan. 

' Gaius, iii, 93. Yet the contracts made in other fonns gradually acquired 
Talidily. 

* Gaius, i, 1I9, I20. 

' See Gains, iv, 30. The strictness with which the letter of the remedy 
had to be adhered to, was iUustniled by the action for cutting vines, which 
had to be slated de arboribui, ail the law of the XII Tables mentioned only 
trees. — Gaius, tv. 1 1 . The English oommon-law forms of action afiord a 
parallel in technicality. 

* That is, he had no equities arising from the reqnireinents of good faith 
^fx hmut Juifi), such as Ihc later law gave him. 

'See Bmns, Fontit yuris. Leges X/I Tahies, Tnb.,i-iii; Pudita, /»- 
ttUuHomn, i, 150, etc ; Gaius, iv, 11-39. 



412 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



presence. If he was still obstinate, the creditor might lay 
hands on him, and lead him before the magistrate, though 
if the debtor through age or sickness was unable to walk, 
the creditor must provide a wagon.' The debtor need 
not follow before the magistrate if he furnished a vind^x, 
a person of his own station and condition, who in his 
stead should accompany the creditor and substitute 
himself as defendant. 

The proceedings which took place before the magistrate 
brought out the most prominent feature of the Roman 
civil procedure, a contrivance illustrating the legal apti- 
tude of the Roman genius, and admirably conducive to 
the definite and logical development of the law. A5 
already remarked, the prototype of Roman magistracy was 
the king, and a considerable period passed before the 
Romans reached the conception of a magistrate with 
limited and definite functions. At no time under the 
Republic did there exist a magistrate whose functions 
were exclusively judicial. Even the pra;tor, who became 
the ordinary judicial magistrate, had always other duties 
to perform. The magistrates with their varied powers 
and duties were ill-fitted to hear and determine private 
causes between citizens. So, as early as the Twelve 
Tables, proceedings before the magistrate were limited 
to the ascertainment and precise expression in legal form 
of the claim of the plaintiff and the defendant's defence, 
if he interposed one. Thereupon, the issue having been 
rendered precise and the pleadings regularly drawn, as wc 
might say using the language of the English common law, 
the cause was sent to a judtx or college of judices to be 
fully heard and determined.' 

' " Si morbus Bcvitasve vitium cscit. que in jos vocabit jumentumiUtD.'— 
XII Tab. (Gellius, 20. 1. 24). 

'The proceedings before the magistrate were termed im Jwrt ; thoM 
before the judge, in jttdicio. Similarly, the object of the EQgU&h 1 
law sjrstem of pleading, — the " declaration " of the plaintiff, the " pie** 
the defendant, and the plaintiff's " replication " when there was 
wa& to render the nature of the dispute legally precise, and bring it to 1 




THE GENIUS OF ROME. 



The usual form into which the controversy was turned 
before the magistrate in the early times was the Ugis actio 
sacraffunto,' so called from the sum of money which each 
party deposited in a sacred place {in sacro), engaging 
respectively to make good his allegation or denial, or for- 
feit the sum to the state. The Twelve Tables provided 
that this penal sum should be five hundred ass^s if the 
matter in dispute amounted to one thousand; if less, the 
penal sum was fixed at fifty.' The smaller sum only was 
required when the dispute concerned the freedom of a 
human being, a provision intended to facilitate a man's 
defence of what was priceless to him. 

The is.sue having been reduced to precise statement 
within the recognized technical form, and the deposits 
having been made, the parties appeared before the judge 
who was to ascertain the facts and finally determine the 
controversy, rendering upon proof a judgment in accord- 
ance with the nature and form of the action. If he 
decided in favor of the plaintiff, the debtor had thirty 
days in which to pay. Failing to do so, the creditor 
might lay hands on him,' and again take him before the 
magistrate. Then if he did not pay, and no one in his 
place satisfied the claim, the creditor could take him to 
his house and keep him there for sixty days, bound with 
fetters of fifteen pounds weight. During this time the 
creditor must supply him daily with a pound of meat, 

issue, i.t.. the allegation and denial of a specific maUcr. The function of 
the Koman judrx approaches (hat of referee appointed by the cuurt " to 
bear and determine." 

' The Ugis acticms, of which the sacramento was the chief, conlinoed ia 
use long after the time of tlie XII Tables, till superseded by the/(rrw«/« 
sometime before die time of f^uus. 

'The fonnula raa thus in nu action in personam : 

Creditor. Aio tc mihi x milia ^m dare oportere. 

Debtor. Denial in the Kame words. 

Creditor. Quando ncgas, Ic sacramcnto quiogeoario proTOCo, 

Debtor. Quando ats nequo nega.**, te Sacramento qmngenmrio proTOCO. — 
See Keller, ficmijehrs Civilpracess^ g 14. 

■ Manus injectio. Sec Gaiu*. iv, 31. 



414 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



unless the debtor chose to live on his own substance. 
On each of the three last market-days during this period 
the creditor had publicly to produce the debtor before 
the praitor, and cause the amount of the debt to be 
announced. If no one paid it, the creditor on the last 
day could kill his debtor or sell him out of the city as a 
stave, for no Roman might be a slave in Rome. If thct« 
were more than one creditor, they might divide the 
debtor into as many parts.' This was the furthest con- 
clusion, logical, unmitigated, that could be drawn from 
the principle of responsibility for incurred obligation. 

The qualities of character found in Roman institutions 
made Rome's histor>-. Throughout persists the race's 
energy and fortitude. Unlike Spartan valor, aroused 
only through emergency, Roman energy required no 
rousing and needed no repose. To all nations comes the 
courage of the rush of victory : Rome's rose sterner from 
defeat. Hers also were other qualities of fortitude, 
capacities for self>control and self-denial and endurance 
of long labor for the gain. During centuries of devotion 
to the state's aggrandizement, Roman qualities grew in 
strength, culminating in the period of the Punic war>. 
The fruits came after Zama, when, with the ease of fate, 
Rome moved on to empire. 

The strength of Rome had its Assyrian side. Such 
strength, in its advance and self-accomplishment, must 
often commit cruelties, must usually be unfeeling. The 
only tenderness ever shown by Rome was towards Greece, 
a country which she admired and despised; and within 
Rome these mighty quaUties when unemployed might 
need to assuage themselves with the blood of the arena 
and with debauchery. The<e were incidental accompani- 

' S«e Bnins, p. 19; Keller, Rom. Cixnlfiroctst, g 83. These exticn* | 
measures were abolished after a while, aad an execution against the debtor's 
goodii given, whidi was not provided by the early law, The tfx t»it« also 
existed: "Si merabrnm nipit, oi cum eo pacit, talio etto." — XI/ 7M., 
fiiuns, p. a?. 




THE GENIUS OF ROME. 415 

ments of a character which should have the enduring 
strength to conquer the ancient world and mould the 
nations of the west to the forms of its own partly bor- 
rowed civilization. 

The Greek ideal of the noble enjoyment of leisure was 
lacking at Rome. The thought that leisure could be 
made the crown of toil might have checked the current of 
Roman achievement ; in its stead the higher Roman self- 
consciousness was filled with unbending dignity and pride ^ 
and sense of personal worth. Their character impelled 
the Romans to incessant practical occupation ; and Roman 
ideals, until the influence of Greece suggested that leisure 
was for culture, remained ideals of toil and valor, of 
unremitting endeavor for some end, iron obedience to 
stem command, ceaseless energy in all things. 



CHAPTER XIII. 



THE REPUBLIC AS INFLUENCED BY GREECE. 



PROBABLY at no time was Rome unaffected by 
Hellenic civilization. Numawas .said to have been 
taught by Pythagoras; but the wise king lived 
many years before the sage of Magna Gra;cia. More 
credible is the tradition that the elder Tarquin conversed 

with exiles from Corinth before leaving his 
Current*. Etrurian city.' It is certain that there had 

been intercourse between Etruria and Greece. 
Etrurian culture was peculiar, but not original. From 
what cities of Hellas or Magna Graccia came its inspira< 
tion is not known. So the currents of Greek influence 
whicll touched Rome cannot be traced to their sources ;« 
but the general fact remains that there was intercourse ' 
between Romans and Hellenes from times preceding cer- 
tain history, and that Greek influence came from Hellas 
itself, as well as from Greek colonics in Italy, and also 
through turbid Etrurian channels. 

At some early period the Romans took their alpha- 
bet from the Greeks, and their sy.stem of weights and 
measures; they formed their games and festivals after 
Greek models, they borrowed Greek gods, they accepted 
for a while Greek weapons and tactics; even jurispru- 
dence, the only great and original Roman science, was in 
the time of the Decemvirs influenced by the laws o( 
Solon. Naturally in matters trivial or material, domestic 
utensils, habits of eating and daily life, modes of build- 

' Cicero, Ve /tip., ii, 19. 

416 



THE REPUBLIC AS INFLUENCED BY GREECE. 417 



ing, as well as early attempts at fine art, the influence of 
Greece was never absent. All this w«is but the beginning. 
The first Punic war ' brought the Romans into contact 
with Greek culture in Sicily; the second Macedonian 
war* and the war with Antiochus' carried them into 
Greece itself as well as to the Hellenic East ; and from the 
battle of Pydna, which ended the third Macedonian war,* 
Polybius dates the establishment of Rome's power over 
the civilized nations of the Mediterranean. So Rome's 
expanding activities brought her into the midst of Greek 
civilization, and she found herself the political mistress of 
the Hellenic world before she realized it or had any defi- 
nite imperial intentions. It was a natural consequence of 
the extension of Roman power, that many Greeks came 
to Rome through diverse political exigencies or to seek 
their fortunes at the source of power and wealth. 

From early times the Romans were a grown-up race. 
Youth is marked by a spirit of playfulness, a spirit of 
adventure and hope of strange things and new, 

by an idealism not yet dashed by e.xperience, . t.ompre- 

, , , , . , • . . - , heosiTencss 

and often by a shiftmg purpose settmg itself of Greek 

towards one goal or another as inspiration lofluencc. 
comes. But manhood means fixed purpose, 
practicalness, limits set to scope of endeavor, steady 
endeavor within those limits, definite conception of 
means, and, instead of playfulness, seriousness and grav- 
ity. The Romans were always men; the Greeks never 
lost their youth— TEAAf^ff a^i TraiSeg. How was this 
race ever young, in its age still touched with youth's 
idealism, this race ever ready for new hope, ever ready to 
embark on new seas, be they the actual seas laving the 
shores of earth or seas of novel knowledge, — how was this 
race, with all its manifold cleverness and genius and its 
perfect culture, to affect the stem, practical, narrow 
Roman character ? 

At the time when the Greek tree of knowledge of good 



' 364-341 B.C. 
VOL. t.—rj 



* 200-197 B.C. 



'191 B.C, 



* 168 B.C. 



4i8 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



and evil was offered to Rome, Rome had realized her om 
ideals. Her ideal of obedience had been realized in the 
Roman family, her ideal of fortitude, in the war with 
Hannibal ; her conceptions of government had found their 
goal in the senatorial government of the Republic, her 
ideal of a good citizen had been realized in Fortius Cato. 
and her craving for power and wealth was about to satiate 
it.self in mastery over the fortunes and resources of the 
Mediterranean world. Left to itself, as no great people 
ever is, what further progress the Latin race might have 
made is a question one need not try to answer. In prac* 
ticat, immediate, material matters, the Latins had great 
aptitude and would in time have developed further mate- 
rial civilization. Yet of themselves they had never shown 
capacity for broader scientific knowledge, and still less for 
abstract reasoning on life, which is philosophy; they had 
slight understanding of beauty or love of it. and there is 
no likelihood that they would have developed any noble 
art, except perhaps in building, where their practical 
sense and industry produced solid results. They had 
developed the beginnings of a rude literature and a native 
mode of versification, the Saturnian measure, which 
might in time have produced high poetry, and they had 
an inborn genius for oratory. Their destiny of world- 
wide empire which was to remove barriers, civilixe the 
West, and mould the spiritual as well as political fortunes 
of men, they had not conceived, — indeed Cxsar was the 
first Roman to whom came this great vision. And, in 
fine, they had reached no adequate thought of how to 
apply or use or enjoy the power and wealth which their 
mighty qualities had brought. They were rude provin* 
cials in thought and aim ; they needed further knowledge, 
broader vision, and more manifold desires in order to 
conceive broader and finer ideals; and how far, when this 
knowledge and wider vision had come, they were to real- 
ize these ideals, was perhaps to be a question of how far 
they still retained their own strong traits. 

On the other hand, Greek culture was all-embracing, it 





THE REPUBLIC AS INFLUENCED BY GREECE. 419 



could render whatever the human spirit might demand; 
it had all knowledge and attainment; it could teach sci- 
ence, philosophy, statecraft, ethics; it had a splendid 
literature — poetry, epic and lyric, ihe tragic and the comic 
drama, and noble compositions of all kinds in prose; 
and it had art,- — architecture, sculpture, painting, forms of 
the arts as noble as the world has seen, and others minis- 
tering to the descending wants of men. And Greek cul- 
ture had within its universal scope modes of frivolity and 
sensual vice. Moreover, Greek thought and character 
from the time of Alexander had gradually laid aside pro- 
vincial and even national coloring ; Greeks were no longer 
Athenians or Corinthians, Thebans or Spartans; indeed 
they were no longer Greeks, but Hellenic citizens of the 
world, and this whether living in Asia or at Rhodes, at 
Alexandria, or at Athens. Hence, having few provincial 
prejudices, no overpowering national thought and inter- 
est, but universal culture and appreciation of life and 
understanding of men, they were fitted to teach mankind, 
and with impartial hand deliver from their store what- 
ever their scholars might ask for. Consequently the 
Romans, having power and opportunity to ask whatever 
they would, and the willing Greeks possessing all that 
could be asked, the influence of Greece upon Rome was 
to be unique in its completeness and manysidedness. 

The Tarentine Greek, Livius Andronicus, was brought 
a slave to Rome at the end of the first Punic war. There 
he educated his master's sons, and, when freed, 
devoted himself to the reproduction of Greek 
plays in Latin, and translated the Odyssey into 
Saturnian verse. He was no poet of original 
genius, but he heads the line of Hellenic and 
Italian men who introduced Greek literature at Rome. 
So Romans had a glimpse of literature and a taste of the 
theatre. Literary productions addressing themselves to 
the people, or more especially to the upper classes, never 
thereafter ceased. 

Few men at Rome could have understood vEschylus or 



Pint 
Literaiy 
Quicken- 

ine*. 



430 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



appreciated Sophocles. They might understand the uni- 
versal pathos of Euripides; but it was amusc- 
ofPUatua ^^^^ ^"^^^ ^^ Roman crowd sought in the 
theatre; comedy was to its taste. Thus the 
matter may have seemed to Plautus, an Umbrian. He 
wrote no original plays, but freely adapted Attic come- 
dies, and being a man of native wit, he recast his Attic 
originals into Latin plays excellent for acting and full of 
rough humor. The plays of Aristophanes, with their 
local allusions and Athenian political spirit^ would not 
have been understood at Rome. So Plautus chose the 
artificial society comedies of Menandcr, which, slightly 
changed, would be appreciated by the Roman populace. 
Menandcr's delicate touch was lost in the Plautinc repro- 
duction, and his keen appreciation of the universality of 
human foible may have been passed by; but the l^atin 
plays amused the audience. There was no serious moral' 
ity in them. In fact, the Roman comic stage never 
presented much besides a frivolous treatment of fonns 
of social dissoluteness. Plautus produced one play, the 
Capthn, the prologue of which announced that it was to 
be decent and improving to the morals of the good. 
Unique in its decency, it continued a stage favorite 
through the merits of its plot. The Roman government 
indeed would not permit such matters as formed the plots 
of Plautus's plays to be represented as taking place at 
Rome or among people wearing the whitened toga; but 
here the government held its hand, unmindful of the 
pemiciousness of vice even when clad in a Greek pallium. 
Yet these plays exerted one beneficent effect. Thr 
Athenians of Menander's time were a kindly people, and 
Plautus's adaptations could not but reflect that humane 
spirit which, for instance, recognized a human being in a 
slave.' Plautus indeed felt that he must apologize for 

' C'est dans une pi^ce de Plaute que Rome entendit pour la premiere fai» 
un esclare dtiv h. un horome libre, " Je 5uis hoauiie comoie lui." (Taa qga . 
homo svLTCi quam tu.) — Atinar. ii, 4, S3. — Boissier, La Rtti^gm Xm 
livrc ii, ch. iii. 



^PUBUC AS INFLUENCED BY GREEC 



421 



iletting a slave bandy talk with his master : the actors 
plained that they were all Athenians. Nevertheless, 
the Roman audience could not leave the theatre without 
a sense of good-nature toward those unhappy beings who 
Cato thought should be used and thrown away, like 
worn-out tools. 

Besides the theatre, all kinds of public games afttr 
Hellenic models became frequent in Rome. The cruelty 
of the Roman character transformed them from harmless 
modes of wasting time into wild-beast butcheries and 
gladiatorial combats. But there was little good in these 
borrowed amusements, akin to the luxury- which increased 
as Rome grew richer and learned how people lived in the 
Hellenic communities of Asia. The Roman women, 
perhaps, led in their craving for luxury of garb, over- 
powering the outcry of Cato, who would have kept 
unrepealed the decree of the times of Cannse forbidding 
women gold ornaments and chariots. But the cultivated 
gluttony of the men did not lag behind, and Greek cooks 
brought a higher price than Greek philosophers. 

More earnest purpose than moved Plautus, lived in 
Naevius and Ennius. Na:vius was probably a Campag- 
nian by birth. He ser\*ed through the first 
Punic war and died towards the end of the sec- 
ond. In character he was a true Roman, and 
the fragments of his verses breathe Roman 
bravery and strength. But he had neither 
knowledge nor imagination, nor the sense of form need- 
ful for finished poetry. Judging from the names of the 
plays attributed to him, he adapted Greek dramas and 
also composed original plays with subjects from the Ro- 
man past. His great work was a long poem on the first 
Punic war. As a partisan of the popular party, he did 
not hesitate to spice his plays with attacks on the nobles; 
in consequence of which he died an exile and a warning 
to subsequent playwrights to abstain from political allu- 
sions. One reason why the Roman drama never became 



The More 
SerioDs 
Trend : 
Naevius. 



422 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



much more than an adaptation of the Greek, was that 
Greek subjects were the only ones which could safely be 
brought on the stage. But although Nasvius was Roman 
in spirit, and took his subjects from Roman history, even 
he could not avoid forming the first part of his great 
poem on the Punic war from Greek legend. The natural 
prelude to the story of the war was an account of the 
origin of the two rival peoples, and Nacvius, in accord- 
ance with what must have been the prevalent story of his 
time, deduced the origin of Rome from Trojan ^ncas. 
Neverthelcw so far as was possible in view of the scanti- 
ness of Roman myth and story and the crude condition 
of Latin verse, Naevius with a Roman heart wrote Latin 
poetry, and for the most part in the native Satumtan 
metre, rough and unformed as it was. He stands for the 
finals 3ret primitive and rude effort of Latin poetry to 
find for itself original form and metre. 

As great-hearted and patriotic as Nsevius was his 
younger rival Ennius. Born in Calabria, he ser%*cd in 
Sardinia in the second Punic war, came to 
Rome with Cato. and there became a friend of 
the elder Scipio. Ennius was Italian by birth, Greek by 
education, Roman in sentiment. He reproduced in Latin 
a number of Greek tragedies, mostly those of Euripides; 
he even occupied himself with comedy and occasional 
poems; but his fame rests on his annals, a poetical narra- 
tive of Roman affairs down nearly to his own time. Feel- 
ing the need of finer form than the Satumian metre, he 
wrote these in hexameter, and boasted that Homer's 
spirit dwelt in him. Ennius's work is filled with Roman 
respect for Roman strength of character, and reverence 
for the example of the past. Patriotism and sympathetic 
understanding of the Roman temper breathe in the fa- 
mous praise of Fabius; and a grand expression of Roman 
conservatism is his monumental line: 



Moribus antiquis stat res Romana virisque. 



THE REPUBLIC AS INFLUENCED BY GREECE. 423 



The Two 

Idea.ls : 

Fortius 

Cato. 



Enniuss work suggests what were to be the two main 
Currents of Roman ideals during the last centuries of the 
lepublic: the native Roman conservative ideal 
3f fortitude, sternness, obedience, and strength, 
md abiding by the customs of the fathers; and 
jthe desire fostered by Hellenic influence for 
broader knowledge, broader culture, broader 
lumanity in fine. This was the growing cosmopoUtan 
ieal of taking what was best wherever it lay, whether 
rithin or without the ancient Roman institutions. 

There was no man of mind and heart at Rome who did 
not prize Rome's native virtues. The division rather lay 
between those who prized Roman virtues with such cxclu- 
Bive spirit as to deem all foreign influence pernicious, and 
lose who would also learn of the Greeks. Fortius Cato 
sprcsents the first class, a man of tireless energy, ability, 
^it, entire bravery and self-control, a born orator, and an 
upholder of the constitution; but narrow in his views, 
barsh in his treatment of his slaves, selfish and heartless 
towards the outside world. His reiteration: " Carthage 
tust be destroyed," was as cruel as it was shortsighted. 
VMser was the reflection of the man who was to be the 
istrument of her destruction, — ^what was to become of 
"^"Romc when she had no one to fear ? Cato's heartless- 
ness comes down tn us in his scornful remark closing the 
debate on the release of the Greek hostages, — have we 
nothing better to do than waste time talking whether 
these old Greeks shall be carried to their graves here or 
in Achaia ? Cato passed his old age in literary activity 
as tireless as had been the militaiy and political activity 
of his youth and manhood. He was the first great Latin 
prose writer, composing historj' — his Originrs — and 
works on every topic within the scope of Roman econ- 
omy, public and domestic. But such were the tendencies 
and needs of his time, that even Cato learned Greek in 
his old age.' 

' Cicero, Z>e Sene^fuU, i. 




424 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



The ideal of a broader humanity was represented by 
men the best and highest in Rome, some of whom had 

rendered incalculable service to the state. 
Circle There was the great Africanus, patron of 

Ennius, who showed his understanding of the 
Greek spirit of culture by the phrase attributed to him; 
" Numquam sc minus esse otiosum quam cum otiosus 
csset," — by which he meant that he devoted his leisure 
to self-culture. Of far less weight, but showing how far 
a knowledge of Greek had progressed among the Roman 
aristocracy, were Fabius Pictor, the first Roman writer of 
his country's history, and Publius Scipio, son of Afri- 
canus, who also wrote historj-. Both wrote in Greek, 
assuming that it could be read in the cultivated and high- 
bom circles for which they intended their works. Besides 
Africanus, two other famous men stood for Greek culture. 
T. Quintius Flamininus. who had ended the second Mace- 
donian war, and L. /Emilius Paulus. the final conqueror 
of Maccdon, a man who possessed Roman virtues tem- 
pered by his own humane disposition. He saw that more 
knowledge was needed by those men whom fortune called 
to guide the affairs of a state which was to control the 
Mediterranean world. So he had Greek tutors for his 
sons. He was allied by marriage with the house of Scipio. 
and one of his own sons adopted into that house was to 
become the second Africanus.' No nobler 6gure has 
Rome to show than the younger Scipio, a man free from 
the foibles and overweening self-esteem of the elder Afri- 
canus. He led the higher spirits among the Hellenizing 
aristocrats, and about him were grouped the men of intel- 
lect and culture of his time, Romans as well as Greeks- 
There was the younger Lslius, hereditary friend of the 
house of Scipio ; there were many other Roman consu- 
lars ; there was Lucilius, writer of bitter satire ; and, of the 
Greeks, there was Polybius, the first man to grasp the 
thought of an interconnected world history^ Panactius 
' B.C. 185-129. 



THE REPUBLIC AS INFLUENCED BY GREECE, 425 

the Stoic, and Punic Terence, the perfect adapter of 
Menander. 

The aspects in which the work of Terence differs from 
that of his genial predecessor Plautus, reflect the differ- 
ences between the audiences for whom these playwrights 
wrote. Plautus had made the subtle wit of Menander 
more rollicking to suit the popular taste. The plays of 
Terence, intended for the Sclpio circle, were more skilful 
translations of Menander ; their Latinity was finer ; they 
preserved the Attic polish as well as the cosmopolitan 
Hellenic appreciation of humanity. Such a line as; 
" Homo sum; humani nil a me alienum puto," ' Plautus 
might have dropped, and certainly would not have pre- 
served, in the mouth of one country neighbor justifying 
his well-meaning interference in the concerns of another. 

In the last century of the Republic lived Lucretius and 
Catullus, both true poets but very opposites. The main 
motive of the former, his point of repulsion as 
it were, was scorn of popular beliefs; his phil- ^^ p^^. 
osophy was that of Epicurus, his lofty vision, 
his intense nature, his capacity for sustained reasoning, 
was his own. Me was indeed a poet. His intense feel- 
ing is ever fusing into living images the dry atoms of his 
ai^ument. He could not expound his theme in quiet 
prose, and loose his heart in lyrics. For his nature was 
too intense for prose, and his unbent intellect and yearn- 
ing vision held ever his thoughts and convictions in their 
linked sequence and entirety, with all their woof of fccUng. 
He must express himself in one great poem. He found 
his model in the poem On Nature by Empedocles, the 
poet-philosopher of Agrigentum, whose thoughts burned 
within him too, and whose vision of universal life and 
decay, consisting in the strife of elemental love and hate, 
appealed to the Roman poet around whom raged the vio- 
lence of mobs presaging bloodier war, and in whose inner 
thought the atoms clashed unceasingly. 

' Hiauion. Tim.^ 77 ; or, quot homincK, tol woteoLiae, Phormic, 454- 




426 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



Catullus. 



As Lucretius could not help writing one great poem, so 
Catullus could not but have written just such pieces as 
he wrote. His sensitive, passionate nature de- 
manded the immediate expression of whatever 
moved him, and his feelings spontaneously took lyric form. 
His nature was an ^olian harp touched to melody by 
every air, responsive in tones tender, violent, sad. He did 
not think, he felt; nor did he contemplate or muse upon 
his feelings. The young Catullus — he was an unthinking 
child, with a great range of feeling, strong affection, ten- 
der love, writhing insatiate passion too, lofty rcproachful- 
ness, scorn and contempt, and bitter reviling hate. He 
is never ethical, never thoughtfully good or bad, never 
anything on reasoned principle; yet withal of noble 
instincts. 

A temperament so sensitive was naturally saddened. 
He did not apprehend the broad, intellectually conceived 
pathos which comes to Virgil or Horace. Catullus feels 
the pathos of the particular event, however little, happen- 
ing before him. The death of Lesbia's sparrow touches 
his heart. That wee piping thing. 



Qui nunc it per iter tenebricosum 
llluc, unde negant rcdire qucmquam ; ' 



it also has to go the dark way, whence they say no one 
returns. To think of that speck "midst the huge darkness, 
which shall envelop the world's great ones, brings further 
pathetic thoughts, — the sparrow is so little, its fate seems 
too large for it, as a babe in a tomb prepared for Cssars. 
But all this pathos, added through thought, is not Catul- 
lus, but the reader. Catullus saw only the dead spar- 
row and the weeping girl. There also comes home to 
him the pathos of his and Lesbia's short day of love ! — 
" Let us live, my Lesbia, and love. Suns set and rise ; 
for us, when our short light has set, we must sleep an ctcr- 

'CatuUtu, iii, ii-is. 



THE REPUBLIC AS WFLUENCED BY GREECE, 427 

nal night. — Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred, 
then another thousand, then a second hundred.' " 

CatuHus's quivering passion for Lesbia was maddening, 
insatiate, despairing, just the wild sensual madness the 
thought of which inspired Lucretius' horror-stricken dia- 
tribe against love.* Lesbia was a doubly faithless wicked 
woman, false to her husband, false to her lover. And 
her lover reviled her with revilings vile and brutal beyond 
the words of other men. Yet his love had its lofty moods, 
Its tender phases ; at her worthlessness it falls dead as a 
flower cut by the plow.' — " I loved thee with no vulgar 
passion." * Always must he love her though her deeds 
have been so vile, Odi et amo — ^such is the fact ; he him- 
self cannot understand it. In the end he reaches a mood 
of passionate introspection ; — he has been guilty of no 
crime, broken faith with no man ; why should he torture 
himself ? Alas, — Difftcilest longum subito deponere 
amorem ! Yet to put this old love aside is his only deliv- 
erance. — " Ye gods, if it is yours to pity, look on me 
miserable, and if I have lived a blameless life, free me 
from this bane. I ask not that she should love me or — 
what cannot be — that she siiould be chaste. I seek only 
to be well of this foul disease. O gods, grant me this for 
my piety ! " ' Even this bit of introspection and prayer 
shows what a thoughtless creature was Catullus. He is 
still a child that can only feel its pain. 

But he could picture what he had not experienced, 
sweet, faithful, loving love, as in his Acme* and beyond 
Venus'a pale, he felt pure and unselfish sentiments. He 
loved his home, his Strmio, sweet rest from cares, and 
spoke to it such words as seldom have been uttered.' He 
loved his friends, — " the dulccs comitum coetus,"* — and 
for a friend's neglect had nothing bitterer than a sad rc- 



' Catullus, T. 

* C/. Couat, £tud^ sui^ QttttSU, p. 74. 

*Cat.,xi, «. 

« U., Uxii. 



• fh., x\r. 
' /*.. xxxi- 



and was faith- 
my seas to pay 



tfti 



VBCtBS 



tpmxm. 



^parencum 



Acopel 



ITSlc!* 



TIu6 lovdr CkCKK 



lof hopdcsB 



sorrow 



scmtiment. 



; his 



Never 



may : 
His feeling, 



; tlMrea 



more spon- 



taaeoospoct; bat if he is called the young Catullus fur 
his sad bfe and cariy death, be is also called doctui Catul- 
lus,' the fa are ed and skilful; for he had complete knowU 
ec^ of the metres be osed. These he was not bom to: 
they were not the native metres of Italy ; yet, as emotion 
was his nature, so a perfect sense of form and metrical 
facility, from his intimate acquaintance with Greekpoetry, 
was second nature. Hts mind consisted of a sense of 
form, and no poet ever wrote with more perfect control 
of metre and expression. With him, art was very artless- 
ness in effect. Whatever Greek metre took his fancy, he 
used, and always with entire facility; but his favorite 
was the eleven -syllable verse of Phalacus. 

When Catullus was not expressing his spontaneous feel- 
ings, but was rather writing poems for the sake of verse, he 
turned for his borrowings to the Alexandrians* rather than 

' C«.. xxxriii. ' />., d. » TibuUos, iil. w. 4I. 

* See Teoffel-Scliwabe, Xtnn. lit, § 314, 6 and 9 ; and for msUac«. U* 
Marriage of Peleux and Thetis, or his Cttmet Beremdt, which La£t vss t 
tnntUlfon from CalHmachni, 





Roman Art. 



I to the national poetry of Greece. There was nothing in 
his nature to enable him to feel the value of the greater 
Greek spirit. That spirit was deep and strong, inspired 
with lofty thought and patriotism. Catullus felt no 
patriotism ; his heart reached not to such wide love. 
What came more home to him was his hatred of Caesar 
and his satellites, and disgust for the course of things at 
Rome.' Such were not the feelings to prompt an ap- 
preciation of great Greek models. Hence, whenever 
Catullus looks beyond his own heart, he cares more for 
style than substance. This is Alexandrianism.* When 
he was (foetus, it was from the artificial poets of Alexan- 
dria that he borrowed. So he, as well as other Romans, 
took from Hellenism according to his capacities and tastes. 
The Romans comprehended the greatness and idealism 
of Greek art far less than they comprehended the great- 
ness of Greek literature. It could not be but 
that such a mighty, toilsome people should 
have been great builders, should have built strongly and 
enduringly; it could not be but that a race so intelli- 
gently practical should have built most usefully. 
Strength and utility were the native and never-failing 
traits of Roman architecture. It were trite to speak of 
the militaiy and political utility of the Roman roads; 
and as for their lasting qualities, — travellers still drive 
over the ancient paving-stones of the Appian W^ay. So 
it were trite to speak of Roman sewers and Roman aque- 
ducts; the former still drain Rome, the latter still span 
the Campagna, And the concrete of the old Roman 
arches, in temples, baths, and palaces, is found by the 
restorers of the kingdom of Italy to be too hard for pick- 

' Quid «t Catulle ? Quid mortris emori ? 
SdU in cunili struma Nonius scdct. 
Per consaliram peierat Vatinios. 
Quid est Catulle? Quid moraris emori ? — lii. 
Catullas's pieces reviling Cxsar and his friends are among the filthiest 
from antiquit}'. 

» C/. Conat, £tuJe sur CatnlU, p. 129. 




430 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



axes; and modern streets are laid through ancient ruins 
by the help of dynamite.' 

When the Romans wished to adorn their structures or 
to introduce more beautiful architectural features, they 
took from the Greeks. In nothing did they make greater 
abuse of what they borrowed. With Greeks, all architec- 
tural style, features, and ornament had intellectual 
meaning and rational justification. So, native Roman 
architecture had its meaning and justification in its utility 
and strength. But the Romans applied the borrowed 
Greek forms, with no regard to the order and import they 
had borne in Greek temples. There is no Greek har- 
mony in the Hellenized buildings of Rome; Doric, Ionic, 
and Corinthian features are confused, till there emerges: 
the composite style of capital and plinth and architrave, 
which is neither Hesh nor fowl, nor hot or cold, but inane 
and tasteless. Yet a Greek column was of such beauty 
that if the Roman imitator would but follow a pure 
model, as he sometimes did in Corinthian columns, he 
could not fail of making something beautiful in itself. 

Withal, however, the architects and builders were 
Romans, and down through the Empire bear genuine 
Roman names.' But there was no Roman sculpture or 
painting: that was all Greek, tinctured with Etruscan 
realism; and sculptors and painters were Greeks, or Tus- 
cans perhaps in early times. As the Romans took the 
fashion for sculptural and pictorial ornamentation from 
the Greeks, it was natural they should follow the Greek 
taste of tlie times when Rome came to care for these 
matters. Then Greek art had forsaken its high ideals, 
though retaining many elements of loveliness. For the! 
most part, it was a rich man tike Lucullus who wanted 
statues to adorn his villas; and from the first, sculpture J 
and painting were used by the Romans mostly as means 
of private luxury and cultured case, though the hcight- 

* For the uses of this concrete and its esiraordinttiy strengih. we Middle- 
ton, The Remaini of Ancient Rome, chapter ii, 

• Ste Friedl!inder, JtSmiifke SittengeschuAte, sixth editjoo, »ol. Ui. p. JOt. 



THE REPUBLIC AS INFLUENCED BY GREECE. 431 



ened national feeling of the Empire employed these arts 
in the adorntnent of the many new public buildings. But 
the thought was not conceived of embodying an expres- 
sion of the glorious achievement of the state in a great 
building, or in great sculpture — in the mode in which the 
Parthenon, with its statue of Atfune, stood for the glory 
and might of Athens, and the Zeus of Phidias stood for 
the sum and climax of Hellenic intellectual grandeur and 
beneficence. So sculpture and painting became the 
fashion ' in Rome, and with few Romans were more than 
the fashion. Hardly before the time of Hadrian did 
sculpture so become a part of Roman life as to represent 
a genuine widespread love. Plastic art stood for no ideal 
at Rome as it had at Greece. 

At an early period Roman gods became identified with 
the Greek, and some gods were taken bodily from the 
Greek Pantheon. The first effect of Hellenism 
on Roman religion was to fill out the charac- <P^**^ ^°" 
ters of the Roman gods and furnish the barren Religion. 
Roman imagination from the fulness of Greek 
myth. But it is hard to sec how there could have been 
at Rome deep respect for the Greek gods. Many a story 
of divine doings must have scandalized the decorous 
Roman. He could not respect the Jupiter of Plautus's 
Amphitryon. With a rational, unimaginative race, cloth- 
ing the gods with full personality might tend to cause 
inward denial of their actual existence. However this 
was, observance of rites, sacrifices, and auspices contin- 
ued, while the natural conservatism and prudence of the 
Romans tended to turn the prayerful or deprecatory 
words and acts of primitive times into formalistic mum- 
mery. Hence arose the condition which made Cato 
wonder how two augurs could meet without laughing; 
yet Cato himself would not have omitted a single formal 
act prescribed by the customs of his country. 

' Possibly Cicero has at times a gleam of art's higher fuQCtioos. See Z>e 
Fin., ii, xxxiv, 115. Seneca would not include pittora, statuarii, or 
memorarii among the liberalts artts. — Sen,. F.pisi., B8, 18. 



432 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



These religious conditions, made up of enlightenment 
from without, further reflection^ and an increasing form- 
alism, which intrenched itself in new complexities of 
form, affected differently the habits of the common crowd 
of men and women, the conduct of men of affairs and 
statesmen, and the views of poets. 

It is possible to regard observance and form in ancient 
religions as a mode of obedience and discipline and self- 
control — obedience to prescribed form, disciph'nc in 
carefulness and prudence, self-control in doing what b 
prescribed and in not permitting fear or hope or feeling 
to carry one astray or lead to superstition, which will 
the Romans meant a going beyond what was prescribcd- 
But there come crises when public misfortune or anxiet>- 
is such that men, in turning their beseeching heart*; to 
the powers above, will cry out passionately, nor be satis- 
fied within the limits of set form. They may demanc 
new and more emotional forms of worship. A time camel 
in the city when stress forced the self-control of the mul- 
titude and drove them to more impetuous and, from the 
Roman standpoint, extravagant if not pernicious devo- 
tions. Probably at all times surreptitious devotions were 
practised. But the dragging strain of the latter part of 
the second Punic war so unnerved the people that the 
Senate was obliged to authorize the reception of Cybcic, 
the Phrygian mother of the gods, in whose orgiastic cult 
pent-up feelings might find vent. Such novel sense- 
emotional worship having been once admitted, men, and 
more especially women, did not afterwards hold them* 
selves within the old observances, but kept scckingj 
strange and extravagant modes of worship. Not twent) 
years later the government found itself taking measures 
as severe as they were ineffectual to suppress the abom- 
inable Bacchic rites which were ruining the morals of 
Rome and Italy.' 

But what effect would the growing enlightenment of' 

' Catullus in liis Attis picturei the fascin&tion tnd horror of these Rmfni 
practices. 



THE REPUBLIC AS INFLUENCED BY GREECE. 433 



the times have upon the conduct of public men, oflficials 
of the state and of the state-religion ? Ancient religions 
of observance did not make it their office to probe beliefs. 
The Roman religion, so long as appropriate forms were 
observed and set acts were performed, took no thought of 
the worshipper's mental attitude. The religion was part 
of the government of the state. Although there were 
distinctly priestly offices like that of Chief Pontiff, never- 
theless most offices at Rome were at once civil, military, 
and religious. It was impossible to change the religion 
without affecting the government, and all conservative 
and reverent feeling at Rome combined to uphold the 
two which were so nearly one.' 

Another influence contributed to make the Roman 
statesmen stanch upholders of religion. They might 
have doubt or disbelief, but they were also superstitious. 
Even the sardonic Sulla wore a wooden image suspended 
from his neck, to which he addressed prayers and vows ; 
even that freethinker, Julius Ceesar, never mounted a 
chariot without uttering magical words to ward off acci- 
dents. All these reverential, deferential, superstitious 
instincts made men shudder at the thought of omitting 
any service of the gods under which the greatness of 
Rome had risen. 

Nevertheless many Roman statesmen of the last centu- 
ries of the Republic had certainly come to disbelieve in 
the living, ruling presence of their country's gods; such 
was the effect of a little thought on their part, and a little 
Greek philosophy and sneering. These men in familiar 
conversation usually allowed themselves to question freely 
and disbelieve when so inclined; yet they duly performed 
all rites and ceremonies which fell to the offices they held. 
There was no objection in a Roman's mind to his being 
a pontifex like Cotta, or an augur like Cicero himself, and 
yet discussing the existence of the gods and the validity 
of divination.' The value of observance and outward 

' Sefl opening cluipten of Cicero's De Natura Deorum. 
' Cf. Boissier, 1^ RtUgion Romaine, bk. it, ch. rii, § 1. 



434 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



act might present itself to the minds of educated Romans 
as a matter quite independent of underlying truth. 
If the ritual, the auguries for example, were technically 
observed, that was sufficient. A Roman general might 
with all sincerity employ a trick lo prevent unfavorable 
auguries when the opportunity for battle was manifestly 
favorable. He might even go further. Religion existed 
for the welfare of the state, so did the auguries. Any- 
thing which contravened that welfare should not be 
observed. To Fabius Maximus was ascribed the saying: 
" Optimis auspiciis ea geri qu£ pro rei publics: salute 
gererentur; qus contra rem publicam fcrrentur contra 
auspicia ferri. " ' Polybius does not tell the whole truth, 
saying that the rulers of Rome upheld religion because it 
served as a check on the people ; that it undoubtedly did, 
and aristocratic consular or augurial chicane often served 
to frustrate the popular will. Rather, these men from 
the combined influence of statecraft, conservatism, and 
veneration for the past, and through their own religious 
or superstitious feelings, deemed that the maintenance of 
religion and the observance of the auspices were for the 
well-being of the state. So Cicero need not be thought 
a hypocrite because he insists on maintaining the regular 
worship handed down by the ancestors;' and it was with 
a touch of genuine feeling that he makes his Stoical 
friend end the argument for the existence of the gods 
with these words; " Mala enim et impia consuetude est 
contra dcos disputandi, sivc ex animo id fit sivc simu- 
late." ' The evil in such courses reverted on the heads 
of these formal observers, depriving them of the strength 
of religious belief; throughout Cicero's correspondence, 
in times of his deepest depression, no faith in the gods 
comes to console him.* 
There were, however, thoughtful Romans without pub- 

* Cicero. De Sauctute, tr, ii ; Cf. Hector's Mying, //., xii. 24 5. 

' lit Natttra Dforum, iii, ii, 5. ' Ii., ii, IxTii. i6(L 

* C/. regarding these matterB, Boisster, La JttHgien Homaitu, Introd«ctiOtt, 
di. ii. 



THE REPUBLIC AS mFLUENCBD BY GREECE. 435 



lie responsibilities, but devoted to literature and familiar 
with Greek myth as well as Greek philosophy. Such men, 
as a class, during the last two centuries of the Republic 
did not believe in their country's gods, and took no pains 
to conceal it. Plautus expresses no serious religious feel- 
ing or belief. Ennius was a more earnest poet, and it 
was impossible that in his Annals^ when his heart was 
burning with the great deeds of his country, he should 
not have breathed occasionally a reverence for those gods 
with whose cult the entire history of his country was 
impressed. But when not telling of his country's history, 
he is outspoken in contempt of astrologers and sooth- 
sayers, and, in his plays, admits Epicurean passages utterly 
opposed to all active religion. His freethinking subver- 
sive frame of mind further appears from his translating 
into Latin the writings of Epicharmis, an old Sicilian 
physicist, and the works of Euhcmerus, that shallow 
Greek freethinker who taught that the gods were bygone 
men, who had been deified openly or around whose lives 
legends had formed. The satirist Lucilius ridiculed 
unsparingly the more foolish kinds of superstitions; but 
more earnestly he shows how little present were the gods 
to him by a passage characterizing virtue {virtus), which 
markedly omits any reference to the worship of the gods 
as part of the conduct of a good man.' 

These slighting allusions of the earlier poets are as 
nothing, compared with that scorn and hatred of religion 
and the people's gods which sends a shudder 
through the reader of Lucretius. This is the J^""^ "** 
first characteristic of his extraordinary poem on Lncretiui 
The Nature of Things, the initial motive of 
which is to dispel from men's minds infatuate dread of 
supernatural evil in this world or after death : 

Primum quod magnis doceo de rebus ct artis 
Rcligionum animum nodis exsolvere pergo.' 

' See this (rsgment in SelLir's Roman Potts of tht RepubHc, ch. ri. 
' D« Natura Herum^ \, 931, 



43^ 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



*' When human life to view lay foully prostrate upon 
earth crushed down under the weight of reli^on. who 
shewed her head from the quarters of heaven with hide- 
ous aspect lowering upon mortals, a man of Greece [Epi- 
curus] ventured first to lift up his mortal eyes to her face 
and first to withstand her to her face. Him neither story 
of gods nor thunderbolts nor heaven with threatening 
roar could quell; they only chafed the more the eager 
courage of his soul, filling him with desire to be the first 
to burst the fast bars of nature's portals. Therefore the 
living force of his soul gained the day; on he passed far 
beyond the flaming walls of the world, and traversed 
throughout in mind and spirit the immeasurable universe; 
whence he returns a conqueror to tell us what can, what | 
cannot, come into being, in short on what principle each 
thing has its powers defined, its deep-set boundary mark. 
Therefore religion is put under foot and trampled upon in 
turn; us his victor>' brings level with heaven." ' 

It is religion that often has given birth to sinful and 
unholy deeds, and Lucretius illustrates by the story of 
Iphigenia: — 

Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum.* 

" This tcaor then and darkness of the mind must be 
dispelled, not by the rays of the sun and glittering shafts 
of day, but by the aspect and the law of nature." ' 

Lucretius proceeds point by point, arguing against the 
religious beliefs and observances of his day. and the fear 
of a future life, for existence after death presents itself to 
him only as something to dread. Throughout, he bases] 
himself on the physics which Epicurus borrowed from 
Democritus, and on the ethics of the later philosopher. 
Ever and again his heart breaks through his argument 
in lofty scorn and pity: " O hapless race of men. when 

' i, 62-79. I'lfc English of these passages fiom LucrcUos is taken fra« 
Monro'6 tnosUtioti. 
* 1, loi. • i. X4&-t4^ 



THE REPVBUC AS INFLUENCED BY GREECE, 437 



L 



k 



that they charged the gods with such acts and coupled 
them with bitter wrath! what groanings did they then 
beget for themselves^ what wounds for us, what tears for 
our children's children ! " ' 

Lucretius' mood may be partially understood. Some 
years had passed between the death of the younger Scipio 
and the manhood of Lucretius," years during which all 
things seemed to have grown worse. Hardly another 
cit>' has been the prey of such continuous anarchy as 
filled Rome during the days of Catiline^ Clodius, and 
Milo. Times of passion, running riot, bear in their dark 
the seeds of further good. There was but one man, 
however, who could see the coming good, and he was not 
Lucretius, but Julius C^sar, who was subjugating Gaul 
while the poet was uttering his high note of protest and 
despair. Lucretius feit only the turmoil of the political 
and social situation. In his nature three elements may 
be discerned : he had the moral sternness of a Roman, he 
was gifted with the imagination of a poet, and he had a 
mighty gift of reason. This stern and bitter and grandly 
rational Lucretius turned his gaze to the state-religion, 
composed of the emptiness of Roman formalism supple- 
mented by the immoral mythology of Greece, upon all of 
which from time to time burst blasts of passion from the 
East. The sight filled him with scorn and horror of the 
whole evil delusion, and pity for the poor deluded mor- 
tals who terrified their lives with it. 

A Roman might temper and apply Greek thought, but 
to originate a new system of philosophy lay not within 
his genius. When Lucretius turned with loathing from 
the state religion, he must needs look to the Greeks. 
Why then did he not become a Stoic ? his heart was 
Stoical, the tendency of his moral views was Stoical. But 
he loathed religion and the gods and all popular conccp- 

' V, 1194. 

* The younger Africanui died B.C. IS9 ; Lacretius wu bom i.e. 99 or 95 
and died H.c. $5. 



438 



ANClEl^T IDEALS, 



tions of life beyond the grave. Stoicism respected the 
gods and religious observances, and entertained doctrines 
of a future life. Lucretius would have none of it. No 
god for him, no truce with false pernicious rites, no 
troubling thought of Tartarus. He would have a uni- 
verse coming to its present form by the inherent laws of 
its own component parts, with no interference of capri- 
cious gods. The atomic physical system of Democriius 
was made to his mind. But Lucretius, with all his intense 
desire for knowledge, was still a Roman, and no Roman 
could love knowledge severed from practical advantage. 
It was Epicurus who had taken Democritus' physical 
system to use as a basis for a practical philosophy. This 
practical philosophy of Epicurus, though calm and self- 
controlled, was not austere; yet a stem and austere 
Roman might transform it to an austere system, by laying 
exclusive stress on its principles of self-control and free- 
dom from disturbing desire, principles which with most 
Epicureans were more than tempered by a wish to get all 
of sense pleasure that could exist with self-poise. Lucre- 
tius, having in sweeping lines invoked Lady Venus,' and 
having once for consistency's sake uttered the words. Dux 
vitas dia voluptas,* turned from the voluptuous side of 
Epicureanism with a horror-stricken cry against the mad* 
ness of love.' Here was a Roman follower of Epicurus, 
whose heart was more burningly austere than any Stoic's 
mind. 

Lucretius stood above life's mimicry,* and, as from the 
great shore/ his mind beheld the infinite turmoil, the 
conflict and the quiet, the life and death of elements ol 
being.' Yet he could also sec the fire kindled in the Tro- 
jan's breast by the beauty of Tyndareus' daughter,' hear 
the moans of wife bereft of husband, and the eternal 



* i, I, etc 

" ii, 172. 

' ir. 1050. etc. 

*Seeii, 333-333. 



• ii. I. 

' ». 365-379 : ». 493-508 : »i. 647, etc 

■* i. 473. 




THE REPUBLIC AS INFLUEl/CED BY GREECE, 439 



Strife of first-beginnings in the newborn infant's cry min- 
gling with the funeral wail.' All this touched him, but his 
great bursts of pity are for those held in the darkness of 
delusion, the purblind race of men, for whom peace is 
best.' He had argued point by point against the exist- 
ence of such gods as his people believed in» he had argued 
against all divine activity or interference in the world,' he 
had argued against purpose in the world's creation, 
against the thought that things were made for man \ he 
had argued against a!l foolish fear of ills to come here- 
after,* and had tried to show that annihilation was no ill, 
for then we shall have ceased, and know no fear or want 
or pain ; " as in time gone by we felt no distress when the 
Poent from all sides came together to do battle, and all 
things, shaken by war's troublous uproar, shuddered and 
quaked beneath high heaven."' Beyond all this, his 
steadfast thought is that the universe contains within 
itself all-pervading, undcviating law, in accordance with 
which everj'thing takes place: — nothing arises from noth- 
ing; nothing takes place without a cause; nothing comes 
into being or perishes; but all things change and pass/ 
He whose reason recognizes and submits is the equal of 
the gods.' 

With no taste for speculation, at no time would the 
Romans have cared for the full Greek gospel of universal 
knowledge which Plato and Aristotle followed. 
Nor was it the great Greek gospel that the »t"om/ 
Hellenic teachers of the second century before 
Christ brought to Rome. Enthusiastic love and hope of 

' ji, 569-580. See T, 233-336. He feels even for the cow whose ctXi is 
Ukeo for sacnBce, n, 530. 

' Vet he recognizes a hope of progress in the splendid simile nf ii, 77-79. 

' Lucretius seems almost wilfully to have limited his conception of dett^ 
to the popular unworthy Dotiou of the gods ; see, r^., ii, 109a, ate. 

* V. 195, etc. 
' iii. 31, etc 

* iii, 830 : see also the remainder of the third book. 

' Cf. the account of Lacretias' philosophy Iq Sellu's Rfiman Peth »/ the 
SefimiUc. * See i, 79- 



440 



ANCIENT IDEALS, 



knowledge great and true existed no longer. The spint' 
of the Academy was not the spirit of Plato, nor did the 
mind of Aristotle live among the Peripatetics. Both 
schools had turned to the discussion of details and subtle 
points; they borrowed principles from one another; yet, 
from a sense of mutual contradiction and common weak- 
ness, they had become sceptical, and, more than knowl- 
edge for knowledge' sake, loved quibbling for the sake of 
argument. Nor were they always earnest in endeavor to 
find in philosophy a guide of life and a refuge under adver- 
sity. The more sincere Greek thought of the lime was lo 
be found among Epicureans and Stoics. It was in these 
schools that men were seeking firm rules of conduct and 
the knowledge on which these rules were based. 

Apparently the stanch Romans of the time of Calo 
Censor saw no good in philosophy. For, despite the 
growing interest in all things Greek and the thought 
which had come of further breadth and culture, the sen- 
ate in the year i6i B.c. decreed that all philosophers and 
rhetoricians should leave Rome. Though this decree 
was vain, many Romans must have sympathized with it 
when five years later Carneades, one of the philosopher- 
ambassadors of Athens, who had come to Rome in a 
cause as paltry as it was unjust, displayed his dialectic 
skill before a Roman audience, arguing one day for the 
great superiority of justice over injustice, and the next 
showing that injustice was the better, and that the 
Romans, through their superiority in unjust conduct, had 
made their state the power it was. Well might old Caio 
urge the Fathers to finish quickly the business of these 
strangers, to whom the Roman youth were flocking. 
Neither was there a lack of Epicurean teachers to teach 
their simple rules, by which the problem of how life might 
pleasantly be led was solved in a way likely to make men 
useless members of society. Epicureanism had in time its 
Roman followers who applied its doctrines according to 
their individual tempers: Lucretius thought and felt not 



I 
I 




THE REPUBUC AS INFLUENCED BY GREECE. 44 1 



Stoicism. 



at all like the restless Cassius, who also professed to be an 
Epicurean ; and both differed tn their lives and principles 
from Cicero's friend Atticus, perhaps of all Romans of 
the Republic the most consistent Epicurean. 

Stoicism was the one philosophy fit for Rome. Never 
a system of thought devised by men of other race was so 
adapted to the men of its new home. It was 
practical, it was reverentially religious, respect- 
ful of the past, and it was formal; it taught fulfilment of 
social duties and duties to the state, and in every way 
fell in with the strongest temper of Rome. Panxtius, a 
Rhodian Greek,' did much to introduce it. Coming to 
Rome, he was accepted as a companion by the younger 
Africanus. Like all philosophers of his time, he was 
eclectic. He cared for all the old philosophers, and did 
not hold strictly to the Stoic system, and denied the im- 
mortality of the soul.' His follower Posidonius helped 
on the cause of Stoicism, himself following the tenets of 
the school somewhat more strictly than his master. Yet 
in the time of Panaetius, philosophy was but getting its 
first foothold. The Romans had still their native strength 
of character; they could lead their lives without the aid 
of philosophy. Cato Censor was an uncut Stoic. Philos- 
ophy was hardly domiciled at Rome before the time of 
Cicero, whose writings spread a taste for it. The civil 
wars drained the vivida vis of Rome. Under the Empire 
men began to feel their weakness, and turned with more 
heartfelt searchings to find in philosophy a strength 
whereby to live. Nevertheless, in Cicero's time there 
may have been others besides the younger Cato who 
looked to philosophy for guidance. 

The effect of the Greek enlightenment, and more 
especially the effect of Stoicism on those who represented 
the old virtues of Rome, may be seen by comparing this 

*6oni B.C. iSa There was s Stoic, Diogenes, in the ctabucy with 
Cvneades b.c. is6. 

*See Zeller's Philasophie der Gruekm, 3d eU., vol. 3^ p. 557. etc. 



443 



AtrClENT IDEALS. 



Tha 

Young;er 
Cato. 

ancestor. 



man with his great-grandfather. The younger Cato is 
a nobler character, less harsh and cruel, de- 
voted to his country, only perhaps, through 
failure to understand the resistless tendencies 
of affairs, rendering her less service than his 
Altogether a man of less sense and ability, he 
may have seemed what perhaps he was, a school-bred 
dreamer. But he had the old Censor's strength of char- 
acter, and through a study of Greek philosophy, especially 
its more earnest ethical side as exemplified in Stoicism, 
he had conceived higher ideals of conduct. He stands 
for the severe, stern, harshly strenuous Roman character, 
enlightened and refined by Hellenic thought. Moreover, 
the increasing corruption of the time, the unfitness of 
Rome to rule the world and herself as a free state, and 
the tyrannies of Marius and Sulla which she had already 
known, gave thoughtful men a clearer conception of that 
freedom which was passing from the world and of the 
character and conduct in citizens needed to retain it. By 
contrast men then, as ever, were learning. So the younger 
Cato's conceptions of virtue and of what was right con- 
duct for him as a citizen of Rome were always clear in 
his mind, and the power of corruption and disintegration 
which he was powerless to check, and the course of 
events which only the masterful intellect of Cafsar could 
guide, while they rendered Cato's life grotesque, also 
made clear that he acted always on principle and ihat 
his principles were good. He was incorruptible, he wa» 
untiring in public affairs; he opposed every measure 
threatening Rome's free constitution; nor did he pusli 
his own affairs, or seek to advance the cause which he had 
at heart, by servility or bribery; and when the civil war 
broke out, though he did his military duty on what he 
thought the least unconstitutional side, he held his hand 
from cruelty, sparing as best he might the blood of citi- 
zens. At the last in Utica, when no hope was left, he 
insisted on his friends escaping; but for himself he 



THE REPUBLTC AS INFLUENCED BY GREECE, 443 

the sterner way of freedom. It was characteristic of 
Cato's sense of duty that he first despatched such busi- 
ness as had call on him, and then characteristic of the 
eclectic Stoicism he professed, that he passed his last 
hours reading no work of Zeno or Chrysippus, but Plato's 
Phi£do. 

The careers of the two Catos are of especial interest, 
for perhaps more generally than any other of Rome's 
worthies they were regarded as models of republican con- 
duct ; their lives were realized Roman ideals. While they 
lived they were respected, and their memory became 
hallowed : — 

Audtre magnos jam videor duces 

Non indecoro puWere sordidos, 

Et cuncta terranim subacta 

Praeter atrocetn animum Catonis.' 

All Romans pursuing Greek culture acquired some 
idea of Greek philosophy. What school each Roman 
might affect would often depend on the tenets of the 
philosopher whom chance made his preceptor. One 
thing the natures of the Roman learners demanded, that 
philosophy should be practical, and that all its teachings , 
and store of knowledge should be such as taught men 
how to live, evilly or well, at any rate in some way satis- / 
factory to themselves. Abstract speculative discussion \ 
seemed to most Romans a foolishness unworthy of sensi- I 
ble men. Why not come to accord at once, as proconsul 
Gellius thought when at Athens he offered himself as 
arbitrator to adjust the disputes of the schools?' So 
Greek philosophy, as adapted by its facile preceptors to 
the demands of their imperious pupils, was practical. 
enabling the younger Cato to set before him a clear ideal 
of virtue, and enabling many others who desired lives of 

' Horace. Carm., ii, i, 3i. Cato's suicide at Ulict was the great example 
followed by men protesting in the same way agunst imperial tyranny. 
* Cicero, Leg., i, », 53. about B.C. 7«- 



444 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



cultivated ease or pleasure to find sound philosophic 
grounds therefor. PhJIosopliy might while away the 
time of those who, like Lucullus and Crassus, devoted 
themselves to their fishponds careless of the Republic, to 
Cicero's scorn, who calls them 6sh-fancicrs~/«fi«tfnf.' 
Nor should be overlooked the influence of Greek social 
and ethical speculation on earnest political reformers. 
Tiberius and Caius Gracchus, Livius Drusus, had a Greek 
education, and found examples in Greek history to stim- 
ulate their hopes, and clear political reasoning in Greek 
literature, by which they might render definite to them- 
selves the objects of their endeavors. 

The Romans were orators ; Cato Censor relied on his 
native genius for speaking; Caius Gracchus, an orator 
unsurpassed in passion and power, was indeed an orator, 
born, but he had also Greek culture, and his careful 
purity of Latin diction had arisen from his ability to use 
his own language as an educated man. After his time a 
knowledge of Greek rhetoric was necessary, though the 
orator might seek to conceal the source of his eloquence, 
as did Marcus Antonius of the generation before Cicero." 
Cicero speaks of this man and Lucius Crassus, to his 
mind the great orators of the elder generation, as both 
affecting to despise the Greeks and their rhetoric, or in 
the case of Antonius affecting even entire ignorance of it; 
yet both were trained rhetoricians. 

Cicero himself is the finest example of what a Roman 
might be through Greek culture, for it was through hi.s 
complete Greek education that this gifted man 
became a splendid orator, a charming didactic 
and philosophic writer, as well as wide in his interests, 
quick in his sympathies. Closely following the Greeks in 
all his intellectual ideals, he gained a broad humanUtu 
such as the ancient world had hardly seen. His assimila- 
tion of Hellenism is so complete that it is not easy to 
distinguish his inborn genius from his Hellenic culture. — 

1 AdAtL, i. l8, 6. * Cicero, Dt Orattrr, n, I. 



Cicero. 




Republic as wflubncrd 



?BECE. 445 



beyond indeed this palpable fact, that Cicero's natural 
oratorical and literary gifts were marvellous, and among 
them not least his capacity for making others' thoughts 
own. Sympathetic, rhetorically passionate in his 
Flature, he had wit and sarcasm, and a power of language 
so facile and exhaustless that with hini emotion and 
thought brought always fit expression. These powers he 
cultivated with the unremitting diligence of genius, keep- 
ing always in view that ideal of a perfect orator which he 
has described in his rhetorical treatises. 

In these one notices that Cicero treats his subject ora- 
torically^ enhancing its importance by arguments to prove 
all human virtues, faculties, and knowledge essential to 
perfection in the art of oratory.' It goes without saying 
that the orator should show those qualities of style which 
are not so much praised as their absence is condemned. 
The orator must speak with a true Roman pronunciation,' 
with pure diction, and perspicuously; there should be a 
rhythm, flow, and proportioning to an oration, both in 
the sound of words and the arrangement and presentation 
of thoughts, all of which contribute to make the discourse 
elegant. Through these qualities an oration becomes 
elegant iornatur) in its general character (^<*«^/'), and in 
its tone {coiprc) and spirit {suco).* But oratory's highest 
merit lies in amplifying the argument through that which 
beautifies it {amplificare rem ornando)* a principle exclud- 
ing every kind of embellishment that is not germane to 
the subject. 

'See Cicero. Dt Orat^e^ x^fassim ; also ii, 5. Philosophy is nccessaij 
for an uralor, ib., iii. iv. So QuiQliltAu, foUowlDg his great mcMlel. tsys : 
" NoQ posse onuorem esse nisi vinim bonum." — Ins. Or.. \ pr., ^ g. 

* Cicero has a good deal to say about the peculiarly tine and hannonioiu 
pronunciatioQ and manner of speech st Rome. One could always tell a 
Ktraoger, as at Athens, by pecuiiarily of pruounciaLion. See, e^., Brittut, 
46, No one al Rome was so rustieui as not to dislike Che sound of hiatus. — 
Df Oralort, xliv, 150 ; cf. tb.^ xlv. The Latin car must have been acute ; 
a whole theatre would stamp ai a false quantity. — lb., li, 173. 

* De Oratore, iii, «iv ; see also ib., iii, liv, and W. 
' /i.. iii. ixvi, 104. 



446 



SALS. 



Although Cicero's rhetorical training was mainly ac- 
quired at Rhodes, it is the great Attic orators that he 
admires. With him, to speak well is to speak At/icr.' 
Atticism is perfect conformity in all respects to the judg- 
ment of the best taste, that very perfection of oratory to 
whicli not even Demosthenes attained.' For there is no 
actual oratory but that the mind can conceive more per- 
fect, as in thought we can always conceive what is more 
perfect than anything actually seen or heard.' Plainly, 
Cicero is forming his ideal of oratory after the analog}' oS 
Plato's fdeas,* and he delivers himself over to the Pla- 
tonic mode of reasoning, which proceeds by referring the 
subject of discussion to its Idea and comparing it there- 
with. He adds that when he seems to state novelties, he 
is only telling what is very old, though unknown to moiit 
people: "And for myself, I say, that I have come forth an 
orator or whatever 1 may be, not from the workshops of 
the rhetoricians, but from the groves of the Academy." * 

Cicero's philosophic position accorded with his tempera- 
ment. Practically he was convinced of many things, 
though his was not that set and forceful character which, 
through success and adversity, holds fast to fixed princi- 
ples of conduct or of thought. Yet he shows no deep- 
principled scepticism ; he merely is not sure, and his usual 
philosophic standpoint is that of the later Academy. 
" I am not one," says he, speaking in the person of his 
friend Cotta, an Academician, " to whom nothing seems 
to be true, but one who thinks that to every truth there 
enter certain falsities so like the truth itself that they 
cannot by any sure mark be distinguished from it." " A 
genial eclecticism fell in with the temperament of one 
whose mind was a guest-chamber for other men's philoso- 

> Brututt 85 ; e/. Orator, xriii, * Ora£er, vii-ix. ' Ormttr^ it, 7. 

* Has rcnim formas sppcllat iHiai Hlc noo intelligeodi solom, wd ctatm 
dicendi gnvissimuE anctor et magister. Plato. — Oriitor, iii, 10. 

' Orator, iii. 13 ; c/. AJ Quintum /'., i, i. a8. 

• De A/at Deorttm, i, v, la. See De Off., ii, H. 7I; moA <f. D* NM. 
I}f9rum, ii, i, 3. 




THE REPUBLIC J9i 



Sr GJtBECE. 447 



phies. His courtesy to all these guests is equal, except 
those from the Epicurean sty. Eclectic habits of thought, 
and perhaps the fact that his mind was not deeply pene- 
trating, often led him to minimize differences between 
various systems. He thought the Peripatetics differed 
from the Academy nominibus rather than rebus,* and 
looked on Zeno's system as a " correctionem vctcris 
academic potius quam aliquam novam disciplinam." * 
It was a man's view of the summum bonum that deter- 
mined the school to which he belonged. This would be 
the main influence leading him one way or the other.' 

One opinion common to ail philosophies, though well 
lost sight of in Epicureanism, he held with firm convic- 
tion, that reason is man's highest part. " Men differ 
from beasts in many things, but most in this, that reason 
is theirs by nature and a mind sharp and strong, quickly 
devising many things at once, and so to speak keen- 
scented, which perceives the causes and sequences of 
things, discovers common features, joins things remote, 
links the future to the present, and brings all life's course 
within its view. The same faculty of reason has made 
man desirous of his fellows and congruous with them 
through nature, speech, and custom, so that, starting 
from the love of his own household, he takes wider range, 
and embraces in fellowship first his countrymen, then the 
human race." * 

The first part of this extract characterizes the oflRce of 
reason; the second part, making use of Stoical ways of 
thinking, taken from the old Greek germ that like-minded 
men are naturally friends, refers the principle of universal 
good-will to the reason implanted in man.' Cicero con- 
tinues, saying that reason gives man desire for truth and 
hatred of deceit, and then follows with one of his untrans- 
latable sentences, in which one notices, however, that 

' Aead., i. ir, 17. • /*.. i. xii, 43. * Dt Fin., t. vi, 15. 

* /JS., ii, xiv, 45 ; ^/, Dt Lfg.^ i, 7. 

' Cicero lays suess on tbe esKatial likeness of all men.— iOf Ltg.. i. 10 ; 
• r/1 1^., i. 12 and 15. 




448 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



there is no thought not borrowed from Plato or the 
Stoics : " Eadem ratio haiset in se quiddam amplum atque 
magnificuni. ad imperandum magis quam ad parenduoj 
accommodatum, omnia humana non tolerabtlia solum, sedj 
etiam levia ducens, altum quiddam et excelsum, nihj]' 
timens, nemini cedens, semper invictum." ' 

Being also a thoughtful jurist, Cicero applies thcsej 
philosophical ideas to legal conceptions, arguing that the 
conceptions of Ux and jus spring from man's nature: 
" Natura propensi sumus ad diligendos homines quod 
fundamentum juris est." ■ He also states the principle 
that the object of government is the greatest possible 
happiness of the governed/ and holds it just that the 
stronger and better race should rule the lower, that being 
for the good of the lower, just as it is well that reason 
should rule the body.* As for the Romans, it was un- 
necessary to show by argument that they were the best 
and strongest race, and that they should rule themselves-, 
as a free Republic. Other nations might be able to 
servitude, but not the Romans, for servitude contra- 
dicted their inborn and inherited nature, which judged the 
worth of all counsels and acts by reference to manly 
virtue.* 

Cicero, who cared for all the arts and sciences and spoke 
of liberal studies as the noblest bonds among men/ is 
very near to loving knowledge for its own sake.* Yet he 
finds something lacking in all knowledge that bears noj 
fruit in action; ethics is of greater value than any othc 
science.' For himself, late in life, weighed down by the 
misfortunes of the Republic and prevented from discharg- 
ing more active duties towards his country, he had turned 
to philosophy for comfort and with the hope of instnict- 

' Dt Fit., ii. xir, 46. * AJQuin. F,. i., i, 04. 

• Pe Lr/r-. '. 15 : '/. »'*■■ "- * ^fp" iu. *». etc. 
^Pkiliff-u, X. 20 ; ef. De Rep., i. 46 ; Z)« Ug,^ i, 8. 

* Pro Arekia Porta, i ; Dt Oraiorr, i, 3. 

"De Fim.. v. xviii. 48. ■ Dt Og.. i, ^SL 



1 



THE REPUBLIC AS INFLUENCED BY GRKECE. 449 

ing his fellow citizens.' " As medicine is the art of 
healthy as steersmanship is the art of navigation, so wis- 
dom {prudentia) is the art of living {ars vivendi)." * 
Through philosophy men should learn how best to live in 
the activity of public life or in the quiet of old age, or 
when public affairs become such that self-respecting lovers 
of their country can take no part in them, as when free- 
dom has passed from a community ruled by its master. 
So had men in Greece turned to philosophy for refuge 
when Greek freedom had become a name. 

In life, Cicero was humane and kindly. In the Pom- 
peian party, * he, almost alone with Cato, had noble 
unwillingness to make war on Italy or join with eastern 
barbarians against his countrymen ; * tender was his 
solicitude over the illness of Tiro, his talented, faithful 
slave;' affectionate was he towards his friends, refined in 
his nature, hating obscenity,* possessed of fine sensitive- 
ness in matters of social intercourse and obligation.* His 
faults, his errors, his tergiversations, his adulation of the 
living C^sar, his change of tone towards him when safely 
dead, arose from the pressure of distress and peril on a 
character lacking fortitude.' Constitutionally timid, it 
was harder for him than for other men to stand firm in 
that time of blood. He judges Cicero most justly who 

I ' Aea^,, i, I. 3. * Of Fin,, r, vi, 16 : ef. Tut. Dis., ii, iff, ll, 

^^ ' Of which he said " Nihil boai pneter causam." — Ad Fam., viii, 3» S. 

^ft * Ad Alt. , ix, 10. 

^B ' Sec Ad Fam., xvi, 1-9. 

Wk * See Df Oratere, ii, 353. 

^* * In a leUer to Cario, Ad Fam., ii, 6. he says : "A man of sensiUrenea 
hates to ask n great favor of one whom he regards as bcinj; under an obliga- 
tion lo hinLself. Hr fears that he may seem to demand a right, not tohega 
kindness, and to r^ard tKc grantingof his request as the payment of a favor; 
hot ... a man with feelings of a gentleman, where he owes much, would 
fain owe more," — Trans, from Tyrrell's edition of Cicero't Cc^rretpondtnt*. 

^H * His exile broke him for the rime completely. Even his pro^onsular 

^^•Djnum in Cilicia was unendurable, Stt Ad Att., v,n,i. To him Rome 
wak still the centre and the orbit of the world. " Urbem. Lf rbem, mi Rtifc, 
tie, et in i«ta luce viva I " — Ad Fam. , ii, is. 




4S0 



ANCIENT WEALS, 



judges him most leniently. No finer words have been 
spoken of this high-intentioned man than those of Augus- 
tus, finding a grandson of his furtively reading a work of 
the great orator. The emperor took the book which the 
boy would fain conceal, read for a while, and gave it 
back, saying: " My child, this was a learned man and a 
lover of his country," 

From early times in Rome the vindicators of the 
people's rights came forward as reformers of the existing 
order of things, or, as was alleged by their 
Tendencies aristocratic adversaries, as subverters aiming at 
p * despotic power. And, since popular leaders 

PATty. ^^^ stood for the economic, social, or political 

rights of the Plebeians, who were not members 
of the ancient body of Roman burgesses, they necessarily 
had advocated the extension of political and social rights, 
and almost from the first had endeavored to bring at least 
the Latins within the compass of benefit intended by 
proposed measures. For example, Spurius Cassius, him- 
self a Patrician, in his third consulate, B.C. 486, proposed 
certain distributions of the public domain among the 
poorer classes at Rome, and also among the L^tin con- 
federates. His adversaries alleged that he aimed at regal 
power; and though the accusation probably was unjust, 
it may be said of him, as certainly may be said of later 
democratic leaders, that from the exigencies of their 
positions they assumed to exert what, from the point of 
view of conservative constitutionalism, was an unconsti- 
tutional exceeding of the powers of such magistracies as 
they happened at the time to fill. 

Spurius Cassius failed and met his death.' After two 
centuries of stru^le, the Plebs obtained civil rights. 
Nevertheless the rich and noble continued to rule Rome. 
In course of time, in generous defence of popular rights, 
arose Tiberius Gracchus and after him his brother Caius, 

* See Livj, ii, 41, and compare tbe case of Sp. MxUas, Livy. 14, 13. 




THE REPUBLIC AS INFLUENCED BY GREECE. 451 



such a man as Rome had not hitherto seen.' In regard 
to Caius Gracchus, these same three points are noticeable : 
in his endeavors to overthrow the oligarchy and make 
the people at least nominally supreme and relieve their 
economic distress, he was a siibvertcr of the existing 
order; he palpably exceeded his tribunician powers, and 
ruled Rome with a generous, short-lived despotism; and 
finally, looking beyond Rome, he instituted a system of 
Roman colonies which should carr)' with them the Roman 
franchise. And as Gracchus looked upon the Roman 
crowd, and thought of relieving its necessities by feeding 
it at home and colonizing it abroad, and let his mind 
expand to the thought that the condition of all Italy 
might well be made equal with Rome, he naturally 
thought other thoughts as well, and realized that this 
enlarged imperial democracy must attain its rights and 
govern through one supreme leader, and that man was 
Caius Gracchus. So, whether he thought to be king of 
Rome, he certainly thought to continue what for two 
years he was, its ruler; and if a ruler, why did he not 
stand in the same relation of superiority to Romans as to 
Italians, and why should he not rule for the benefit of all 
his subjects ? So his being absolute ruler in Rome would 
lead him to view Romans and Italians as alike in rights 
and entitled to equal standing in the broadened common- 
wealth.' Thus Caius Gracchus, as enemy of the aris- 
tocracy, as leader of the people, and as ruler of the 
commonwealth, was the forerunner of Julius Ca:sar. 

The statesman's vision of the latter sprang p^^oj, of 
from three factors: his own perfect genius, his Czsar's 
Greek culture, and the general views and ten- SUtes- 
dencies of the popular party at Rome, of which ™*"«P' 
he became the leader. The second and third of these 

' As to Cftiuft Gracchus see MommscD. History^ bk. iv, ch. tii. 

' What has been said of Gracchus applies in principle to Marius. at least 
in so far as be had political understanding. And Sertorius after him, 
making head in Spain a^nst the restored oligarchy, saw in the Spaniards 
the making of Roman citizens. 




452 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



(actors may be analyzed and their results accounted for. 
The first may only be characterized. 

The oligarchy of wealth and position, which was over- 
thrown by Caius Gracchus, shortly recovered itself, taking 
advantage of the unpopularity of his proposal to extend 
the franchise to the Italians. Some decades afterwards 
came the bloody onslaughts from the popular party under 
Marius, and then followed the formal restoration of the 
oligarchy by the dictator Sulla. The doings of the SuUan 
restoration showed the imbecility of the oligarchical 
party. Manifestly it had not the strength and energy to 
rule the Republic and the subject nations, nor, in its nar- 
row selfishness had it the intelligence to see that for its 
own interest it should not treat Rome as a field for cor- 
ruption and violence and the provinces as fields for 
plunder. On the other hand, the people could not gov- 
ern except under a leader with unlimited power. Yet in 
all its lack of self-control, in all its unbridled passion and 
corruption, the people, because it was the people and not 
a class, stood for the diffusion of Roman institutions and 
for the clearing away of barriers between Rome and her 
dependencies. He only was fitted to be a leader of the 
people, ^to be the people's king — who realized these ten- 
dencies, and should also see that if Rome was to continue 
to rule, she mu.st become part of her own Empire and 
unify the interests and institutions of the Mediterranean 
world. In some such mode as this, the fact that Cxsar 
was the leader of the popular party was an element of hi)» 
statesman's vision. 

Another element of Caesar's vision was his Hellenic 
culture. He was born a Roman with all the strength 
the Roman character; his Hellenic education made him 
broadly human. A knowledge of the law, literature. 
philosophy, government, modes of Ufe of another people 
gives a man outside vantage-points from which to vie»' 
himself and the institutions he lives under. Greece gave 
her Roman scholars data for comparison and trained 




AS mFLVENCED BY Gk 

them to compare. It is hard to conceive what the mighty 
mind of Ciesar took from Greece. His Greek education, 
got at Rome, in travel, and at Rhodes, was complete. 
There was nothing he might not learn, for he was all- 
capable and Greece was all-affordtng. We know how 
he perfected himself in orator>',' and we may imagine 
with what grasp he would seize Greek theories and 
experiences in matters political and military. Above 
all, he gained the conception of the greater likeness of 
men everywhere and the function of Roman world-rule^ 
world self-rule it might almost be, so thoroughly might 
the ruling state become organic with the rest, the ruling 
principle throughout its Empire. And, finally, he had 
from Greece an example of a man who conquered the 
world, and in a manner after Cxsar's heart set to work to 
constitute it into one Empire, applying in his royal way 
principles which Caesar after him should bring to more 
enduring realization. 

Caesar's genius — his discernment, his persuasiveness, 
his winning personality, his power over men, his magna- 
nimity, his readiness of resource and aptitude for all 
manner of business, his capacity for clear purpose within 
himself, and his ambition — would have made him leader 
in any state. His strength of will, his perfect courage, 
his self-reliance and belief in his star, his unparalleled 
generalship, his constructive political genius, his far 
vision of the outcome, made him the master of the crises 
and catastrophes he moved among, the master who 
should force the warring elements along the course 
whereby might be reached the ideal dark within the blind 
tossings of the time and the thwarted endeavors of other 
men. 

Rome was unrestrained in Ciesar's time, Rome was 
insatiate, Rome was corrupt. The world pampered her; 
she was crazed with power and indulgence. Her rich had 

* Cicero, in Bruius, 72-75, praises Ocsar's eloquence, and the exceeding 
parity of his speech, >nd the simple luked beauty of his CommtHtana. 




4S4 



ANCIENT IDEALS. 



every luxury; her poor maddened for them. Men set 
themselves no rein. Those men of talent and position 
who lacked fortunes, borrowed ; never did such colossal 
indebtedness exist, the fruit of mad extravagance in pri- 
vate debauchery and public office-seeking. Morals were 
far to seek. Honesty, temperance, chastity, were the 
virtues of a quixotic few, and gained their possessors 
enmity. 

In all this there was a strength, a vivida viSf which 
was to bring partial regeneration. There were many 
strong and able men in Rome displaying their forceful- 
ness in various ways. The meteoric energy of a LucuUus 
got him such riches in Asia that afterwards he might live 
in royal ease. Atticus was able and alert in all kinds of 
commercial money-making; Crassus was tireless in the 
pursuit of wealth through political banking and intrigue; 
it meant something that a farmer of the revenue of no 
great prominence would shut up and besiege the elders of 
a delinquent city till five of them had died of hunger.' 
That was energy at least. Better men displayed force 
and activity in nobler ways, — Cicero was tireless; Cato 
was ever at his post, ready to harangue through the live- 
long day. Curio and Mark Antony were tireless in 
debauchery, yet with brilliant talents that should display 
themselves in action. The noble ruffians Clodius and 
Milo had at least ability and braver>', in which qualities 
Catiline had not failed. And the people too, the mob, 
had the energy of restlessness, surging in turmoil, 
demanding distraction, public games, and public bread, 
unceasingly asserting its right to ride through life on 
the neck of the world. Everywhere we find strength, 
whether we look for it in the burning reasonings of 
Lucretius, in the revilings of Catullus, or in the orations of 
Cicero, or seek tt in the mad graspings of lower natures; 
or whether we look where strength of every kind is to be 
found, in the personality of Julius Caesar, who in the way 

' See TytteU. Cerrttpanderut 0/ Cicero, vol. iii. Intiod.. p. j8. 



THE REPl 



AS INFLUENCED BY GREECE. 



Career, 



of seeming folly had indulged in the caprices of the time 
and owed more millions of sesterces than other men. 

A great man realizes the purpose of his life as events 
and his own growth disclose it. Yet his nature is dis- 
played in acts of youth as well as manhood. 
Caesar had disclosed himself to Sulla's eye 
when he had refused to put away his wife at 
the despot's command. He showed himself still further 
when he redeemed his promise to the pirates by crucify- 
ing them every one. Still further he showed hinisclf, 
pursuing his Greek studies, for it was his nature to absorb 
and use all knowledge. He did not especially disclose 
himself, but only illustrated the times, by loading for a 
while an extravagant and dissipated life. He did dis- 
close himself, however, by coming through this life 
unscathed, showing that indulgence had never dominated 
him; and he a